Two Middletown brothers, Aiden and Louis Ardine, completed their cross-country walk from Asbury Park to San Francisco, raising $70,000 for restaurant workers along the way. The trip was around 3,200 miles.

According to the Asbury Park Press, the brothers, both former bartenders, raised the money for the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation and the COCO Fund; both organizations help food service workers impacted by the pandemic. They surpassed their goal of $30,000.

The brothers, both of whom are Rutgers’ graduates, were working as bartenders in Asbury Park when the pandemic hit, according to the Asbury Park Press. They were both left jobless and hatched a plan to bring attention to the plight of food service workers.

They are both campers and hikers, so they decided to put those skills to work after finding a group, the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, to partner with.

Aiden told the Asbury Park Press, “This was definitely an adventure founded in a very hopeful notion about America, and it confirmed our suspicion that people are inherently good and want to help their neighbors.”

The trip took 162 days and the brothers went through 11 states, experiencing mountains, deserts, even encountering a bear in Utah (the bear ran away). They also experienced the kindness of strangers, with people giving them Gatorade and one family inviting them into their home for a home-cooked meal.

Aiden is planning on writing a book on their trek; the brothers documented their journey on Instagram.

They aren’t walking back to New Jersey, however, they’re flying.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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