Years ago, when Regina Breda was only 14 years old, she landed her first job—cleaning the swimming pool at the apartment complex where her family lived. So, it might just make perfect sense that she’s spending some of her time, since retiring, volunteering to help keep Lake Hopatcong clean and healthy.
Different bodies of water. Same goal.
“I enjoy having a chance to help [the Lake Hopatcong Foundation] keep our lake viable,” said Regina, a native of Glen Ridge who has lived on Bright’s Point for the past 32 years, “and meeting some really great people along the way.”
Lake long-timers may well know Regina from her 14 years as owner of the Wearhouse Grille. She opened the restaurant on state Route 181 in 2000 and managed to usher it successfully through some dark days in 2008, which included a devastating economic downturn.
Regina, in part for sheer tenacity, earned recognition as the 2009 Businesswoman of the Year in Jefferson Township, an honor duly noted with a certificate from the State of New Jersey. “Keeping my restaurant going during our most recent depression,” is, rightfully, something she considers her most remarkable accomplishment.
Four years ago, she retired from the Wearhouse Grille, which later became the Upstream Grill, but still works as a part-time hostess at the Stone Water at 3 Peaks Marina, about a third of a mile down the road.
It was Regina’s retirement, coupled with her 2015 marriage to husband Bill, which paved the way to the Lake Hopatcong Foundation.
“He’s required by his employer to work a certain number of volunteer hours every year,” Breda explained. “What better way to do that than by helping maintain our lake?”
For their first LHF gig, they volunteered for the annual Block Party in. Since then, Regina has rustled up donations of food and served them to the Lake Loop crowd and has also participated in Hudson Farm Charity Walks.
When she’s not rolling up her sleeves for the LHF, Regina spends time on her favorite hobby—making costume jewelry from glass wine bottles. Reading, boating and getting together with friends also make their way into her schedule.
These days, Regina’s family includes stepdaughter Carissa, stepson Ryan, and feline friends Missy and Sanibelle.
Taking a trip to Italy tops her bucket list, but for now she’s finding plenty of things to do that are closer to home. That, of course, is fine by the LHF, especially because her volunteer time is guided by her personal motto: “Whatever you are, be a good one.”