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August, 2013 |

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Charity Briefs for Sept. 3, 2013

August 30, 2013 3:38PM

Friends and supporters of the late Marine Cpl.Conner Lowry, a Brother Rice High School graduate, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan, gather after a memorial golf outing held in his name at Deer Creek Golf Club in University Park. Proceeds fund scholarships. For more information, visit www.connertlowrymemorialfund.com. | Supplied photo


Updated: August 31, 2013 11:44AM

Suicide Prevention: Orland Township is seeking families, school groups, firehouses, police departments, business associates and other groups to compete as teams in the Illumin8K race/walk that kicks off at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 from the grounds of Orland Township offices, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. The event will raise funds for the Jason Foundation, which works to prevent youth suicide through educational and awareness programs; Catholic Charities’ Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide program, which provides counseling and support groups; and the Orland Township Scholarship Foundation. To register, call (708) 403-4222 or visit www.Illumin8K.com before noon Sept. 6. The fee is $25 for adults and $20 for youths 17 or younger. Walk day registration is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. with a fee of $35. In addition to Illumin8K, Orland Township, in conjunction with Riveredge Hospital, will have a free suicide prevention seminar from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 23. Registration: (708) 403-4001.

School District 122 Fundraiser: “Celebrating Stars of Tomorrow,” the primary fundraiser for the New Lenox School District 122 Foundation’s teacher grant program, is scheduled for 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 7 at Harry E. Anderson VFW Post 9545, 323 Old Hickory Road, New Lenox. Tickets are for sale at the District 122 Administration Office, 102 S. Cedar Road, or at Lincolnway Body Shop, 22002 Howell Drive, New Lenox. Tickets are $40, which include hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Information is at www.nlsd122foundation.org.

Blackhawks Alumni Softball Classic: The Chicago Blackhawks Alumni Association will host the 6th Annual Blackhawks Alumni Friends Charity Softball Classic at noon Sept. 8 at St. Xavier University’s Richard R. Ferrell Memorial Field, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago. Gates open at 11 a.m. The event benefits the Chicago Firefighters’ EMWQ Retirees’, Widows’ and Children’s Assistance Fund and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and related police and fire charities. Former and current Blackhawks players will face police and firefighters in a 16-inch softball game. Admission is free. There will be food, nonalcoholic beverages, an inflatable play area and games for children, raffles and autographs from players. A variety of antique fire and police equipment will be on display. For more information, visit www.widowsandchildren.org.

Golf, Meet Fisk: The Cancer Support Center will host its 22nd Golf Outing in memory of Steve Fallick from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 13 at Flossmoor Country Club, 1441 Western Ave. The outing features baseball Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk, who will compete against participants on the par-3 seventh hole. Golf registration begins at 11 a.m., followed by lunch and a shotgun start at noon. Tickets for golf and dinner are $325, or $1,300 for foursomes. Event features include pictures with Fisk, auction prizes, raffles, games and live music by a German band at dinner. The Cancer Support Center provides programs at no charge for anyone affected by cancer in more than 70 area communities. For more information about the center or the event, call (708) 798-9171 or visit www.cancersupportcenter.org.

Dani’s Foundation: The Lincoln-Way All That Glitters Dinner and Dance fundraiser for Dani’s Foundation and its pediatric cancer patient programs and research projects will be Sept. 21 at the Joliet Country Club. The evening will feature a silent auction, dinner and dancing to the tunes of the Walk-Ins. For ticket prices and reservations or to donate items for the auction, email Joyce@DanisFoundation.org.

Golf for a Cause: The Fourth Annual James Ryan O’Donnell Memorial Fund Golf Outing Reception is slated for Sept. 21 at Water’s Edge Golf Club, 7205 W. 115th St., Worth. Registration begins at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. The cost of $125 includes the post-golf reception; the golf-only fee of $80 includes 18 holes of golf, golf cart, lunch, cocktails, a gift, games and prizes. The reception is from 7 to 11 p.m. at Water’s Edge. A reception-only donation is $50 and includes beer, pop, wine, liquor, dinner, raffles, silent auction and split-the-pot. The fund provides scholarships for Brother Rice High School students. Checks should be made payable to The James Ryan O’Donnell Memorial Fund and mailed to 5741 W. 101st St., Oak Lawn, IL 60453. For more information, call (708) 703-6185 or email jamesryanodonnellmemorialfund@gmail.com.

Walk for Alzheimer’s Association: The Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is scheduled for Sept. 29 at Montrose Harbor, Montrose Avenue and Simonds Drive, Chicago. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. and the walk at 10 a.m. A Joliet-area walk is slated for Oct. 5 at Rock Run Forest Preserve. To start or join a team, visit alz.org/walk. To learn about volunteer opportunities, visit alz.org/Illinois.

Cougar 5K Run/Walk: St. Xavier University will host its 13th annual Cougar 5K Run/Walk during Homecoming Week at 9 a.m. Oct. 5. The race begins and ends at SXU’s Chicago campus, 3700 W. 103rd St., and travels through Evergreen Park. Pre-registration is $30 for runners/walkers and $25 for SXU students. Prices increase to $35 for runners/walkers and $30 for SXU students after Sept. 30. Race day registration is $40 for runners/walkers and $35 for SXU students. The family rate is $75 for two adults and one child age 17 or younger. Each additional child is $20. Family rate registration is not available on race day. Participants will receive a ticket to the homecoming football game at 5 p.m. Participants also can enjoy refreshments, massages, stretching, blood pressure checks, free flu vaccinations, children’s activities and pictures with SXU’s cougar mascot. Information: www.sxu.edu, Use keyword Cougar 5k or call the race hotline at (773) 298-3592.

Domestic Violence: The South Suburban Family Shelter is partnering with eight other Chicago-area domestic violence agencies as an approved charity for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 13. The agencies are members of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. There are more than 30 runners on the “Run Domestic Violence Out of Town” team. Other runners registered for the marathon can still join the team. There are several sponsorship opportunities available including a “virtual runner” support level which requires a minimum of $150 in donations. A virtual runner can set up his or her own fundraising page on the team’s Crowdrise webpage, and is encouraged to join the team’s cheering section on the day of the race. A virtual runner will receive a team T-shirt and is invited to attend the Marathon team’s postrace party. Information: (708) 794-2140, Ext. 303 or email vmeilach@ssfs1.org.

Pasta Extravaganza: The Together We Cope Pasta Extravaganza fundraiser is from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Orland Chateau, 14500 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park. Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 12, and include a full dinner buffet, beer, wine and soda. Raffle tickets with the September date, which was changed, will be honored at the Oct. 16 event, and a drawing will take place that evening. Information: www.togetherwecope.org.

Raffle for a Cause: Southwest Community Services, Inc., will sell raffle tickets for a chance to win a 2014 Dodge Dart SE sponsored by Bettenhausen Automotive, or cash prizes. The raffle is to raise money for the programs and services that the nonprofit offers to more than 450 children and adults with disabilities. Tickets are $25, or five for $100, and will be available through Oct. 27. Only 2,000 will sold. Tickets will be available at Southwest Community Services, Inc. events and online at www.swcsinc.org. If all tickets are not sold, the winner will split the proceeds 50/50 with Southwest Community Services, Inc. The drawing will be held at the SCS Texas Hold ’em Tournament on Oct. 27 at Sam’s Triple Crown, 9191 W. 159th St., Orland Hills. The winner need not be present. For more information or to buy tickets, contact Carla at (708) 429-1260, Ext. 1243 or visit www.swcsinc.org.

Artisans Wanted: The Will County Union of King’s Daughters and Sons will host its Silver Crossings Vendor/Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 2 at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. Proceeds will benefit the inpatient Silver Cross diabetes program. For more information, call Silver Cross Hospital at (815) 300-7117.

School Supply Drive: Worth Township is seeking donations to the Apple Tree Program, which provides school supplies for township children in financial need. Donors can bring items to the township building, 11601 S. Pulaski Road, Alsip, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays. Needed supplies are listed at www.worthtownship.com. For more information, call (708) 371-2900, Ext. 45.

School Supplies: The South Suburban Family Shelter is seeking Back to School Angels to donate for a child’s school supply list or clothing or shoe needs. The shelter is accepting gift cards from office supply stores and retailers where school supplies are sold. Donors also can send a check payable to South Suburban Family Shelter to P.O. Box 937, Homewood, IL 60430. For more information, call (773) 671-7955.

Donations needed: The South Suburban Family Shelter is in need of nonperishable food items for clients who are experiencing domestic violence. Personal hygiene products also are needed. Donations may be dropped off at 18139 Harwood Ave., Homewood. Call (708) 794-2140, Ext.303, before dropping off items.

Food Drive: Two Men and a Truck, an Orland Park-based moving company, is working with Move for Hunger to collect food to help fight hunger. Nonperishable food items will be donated to the Orland Township Food Pantry. To request boxes for food donations when you are moving, or for more information about Move For Hunger, visit twomenandatruckorlandpark.com/move-for-hunger.

Help Bag Cancer: Stand Up to Cancer and The Safeway Foundation are raising funds for the fight against prostate cancer. Dominick’s grocery stores will be selling a limited edition, reusable shopping bag, embossed with the words, “It starts with a wish; it can end with a cure.” The bags also can be bought online by visiting safewayfoundation.org. Dominick’s shoppers also will have a chance to make a separate donation at checkout. For more information, visit safewayfoundation.org or standup2cancer.org.

Recycling: St. Christopher School, 14611 S. Keeler Ave., Midlothian, is holding a recycling fundraiser, and will be collecting items including empty toner and ink-jet cartridges, cell phones, DVDs, video games and video games systems, PDAs, iPods and laptops. The items may be dropped off at the school, parish office or church. Items should be undamaged, and empty toner should be repackaged into the new box of toner. Companies that want to donate but cannot deliver items are asked to call the school at (708) 385-8776. The school also recycles paper, with three bins on the south side of the gravel parking lot on the east side of the building.

Cell Phone Collection: South Suburban Family Shelter is collecting cell phones for an ongoing fundraiser, and also is seeking schools, businesses or other organizations to volunteer as collection sites. The shelter provides services for victims of domestic violence. Collection sites include the SSFS administrative office, 18139 Harwood Ave., Homewood; Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights; and Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Road, Flossmoor. For more information, call (708) 794-2140, Ext. 303.

Retirees Needed: The Gaylord Building, 200 W. 8th St., Lockport, is seeking volunteers to help lead educational activities and community outreach. Retirees with experience in education, business or a variety of building trades are especially ideal. For more information, call (815) 838-9400 or email info@gaylordbuilding.org.

Resale Shop: One More Thing Resale Shop, 343 Main St., Park Forest, is accepting donations of clothing and accessories, appliances, toys and household items. Furniture is accepted by arrangement. One More Thing also is accepting volunteer applications. Sales at the store benefit South Suburban Family Shelter, which supports victims of domestic violence and homeless women with children. Donations are welcome from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Information: Contact Janice at (708) 228-5077.

Repeat Boutique: The Repeat Boutique resale shop, at 18157 Dixie Highway in Homewood, is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. All workers are volunteers, and all proceeds go to Grand Prairie Services clients. Items in the shop include clothing, furs, jewlery, shoes, books and household items. Information: (708) 957-5052.

Seeking volunteers: The Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Illinois Chapter is seeking individuals interested in becoming Alzheimer’s Association Community Representatives in Will County. New volunteers will receive training. To become an AACR, visit alz.org/illinois, click on “volunteer” and select “Alzheimer’s Association Community Rep” on the application form.

Donate unused tickets: Lake Katherine Nature Center Botanic Gardens, 7402 W. Lake Katherine Drive in Palos Heights, has joined tix4cause.com, an emarketplace ticket service that turns unused tickets into cash donations for nonprofits. Individuals, businesses or corporations can donate unused tickets for sports, music, theater or leisure activities to Lake Katherine. The public can buy tickets via tix4cause.com, and 90 percent of the ticket proceeds go to support Lake Katherine. To make a donation and/or buy tickets, visit www.lakekatherine.org or tix4cause.com. Be sure to identify Lake Katherine as your charity of choice. Information: (708) 361-1873.

Text to Give: Nonprofit organization Park Lawn, 10833 S. LaPorte, Oak Lawn, has recently launched a new “Text to Give” mobile giving campaign to benefit the programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The program allows donors to make a $5 donation through Give by Cell by texting the phrase GIVEPL to the number 20222. Donations are tax-deductible and pledges are billed through your monthly cell phone bill. Users must be 18 or older or have parental permission to participate, and must agree to the terms and conditions. Message and data rates may apply. For more information, visit www.givebycell.com.

Staples: Together We Cope is seeking certain staples that are in short supply at its food pantry. Canned soup, pasta, rice and breakfast cereal in particular can be dropped off at the pantry, 17010 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Contact Carol Ettema, pantry director, at (708) 633-5040 if you wish to conduct a food drive for those items.

Purr-fect Donations: The South Suburban Humane Society is seeking donations to help take care of kittens. The humane society is registered at Target and Wal-Mart. Donated items also can be dropped off at The South Suburban Humane Society at 1103 West End Ave., Chicago Heights, or the SSHS Spay/Neuter Clinic at 18349 S. Halsted St., Glenwood.

Encore Shop Expansion: The newly expanded Encore Shop, the resale shop of Silver Cross Hospital, is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and the first Saturday of the month. The shop is in the Hershman Building, 1301 Copperfield Ave., Joliet, the former Silver Cross Hospital campus. Donations of gently used seasonal decorations, adult and children’s clothing, household items and books can be dropped off there. Call (815) 300-7642 or Volunteers Services at Silver Cross Hospital at (815) 300-7117. Past proceeds have helped buy X-ray equipment, ICU beds, laptop computers, dialysis and mammography equipment, surgery carts and more for the nonprofit hospital.

Pizza for a cause: St. Christopher School and Kenootz Pizzeria have teamed up for an Eat and Earn Fundraiser on the first Tuesday of each month. Kenootz Pizzeria, 4659 W. 147th St., Midlothian, is donating 25 percent of all profits for dine-in, carry-out and delivery order (before taxes, gratuity, and coupons) to the school. Be sure to mention St. Christopher when ordering to have the percentage donated. Call the pizzeria at (708) 535-0005.

Target St. Christopher School: St. Christopher School in Midlothian is continuing its participation in Target Corp.’s “Take Charge of Education” program. To help the school, individuals need to use their Target REDcard and inform the checkout person that they would like St. Christopher School to receive credit for the purchase. It does not cost the purchaser anything and Target Corp. will donate up to 1 percent of the REDcard purchases to the school.

Shopping for school: The Summit Hill Educational Foundation is part of the Dominick’s family of stores’ eScrip program. To participate in the SHEF fundraiser, individuals need to register their Fresh Values cards at Dominick’s. For information, call (815) 474-9052 or visit board@summithillfoundation.org.

Donations needed: Neat Repeats Resale stores in Orland Park and Worth are in need of gently used women’s and children’s clothing, accessories, handbags, shoes and jewelry along with small household appliances and kitchen items in good working order. The Neat Repeats stores depend on community residents to provide the inventory for the retail operations. All donations benefit women and children who are receiving services free of charge from the Crisis Center for South Suburbia. Items can be dropped off at either store location: 7026 W. 111th St. in Worth, (708) 361-6860; or 9028 W. 159th St. in Orland Park, (708) 364-7605.

Sharing soles: Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia, is collecting shoes for the Share Your Soles organization. Any gently worn shoes will be accepted 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays. The goal of the charity is to provide shoes to underprivileged families worldwide. Call (708) 403-4222.

Pets for vets: To ease the financial costs associated with pet ownership, the Animal Welfare League offers all veterans with military ID an exclusive 20 percent adoption fee discount. Adoptions include a free leash and collar or cat carrier, AVID Microchip, 10-day health care and one-year rabies vaccination. Adoptable pets can be viewed online at www.animalwelfareleague.com or by visiting the Chicago Ridge location, noon to 8 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Veterans can also get a 10 percent discount off veterinary services through its clinic, which is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Information: visit www.PetsforPatriots.org or call (877) 473-8223.

Volunteers sought: Catholic Charities is seeking volunteers to help at “The Giving Tree” donation center at 3016 S. State St. in Lockport. Volunteers will assist with sorting, organizing and distributing a variety of items. Volunteers must be available to help on weekdays and be at least 18. Contact Marianne Holzhauer at (815) 774-4663, Ext. 3105 for information. If you are in need of services, contact Daybreak Center at the same phone number. For more information about the programs and services provided by Catholic Charities, visit catholiccharitiesjoliet.org.

Ring up donations: South Suburban Family Shelter is seeking cell phone donations and new cell phone collection sites for its ongoing fundraising program. The agency works with a company that specializes in the collection and recycling of used cellular phones. Some cell phone collection sites include: SSFS administrative office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood; Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights; and Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Road., Flossmoor. Call (708) 794-2140, Ext.303.

Filling pantries: Working to meet unprecedented demand at its pantries in Worth and Summit, Catholic Charities southwest regional office is accepting donations of food and money earmarked for the pantries at its office, 7000 W. 111th St. in Worth. Call (708) 430-0428.

New program: Sertoma Centre Inc. hopes to reach a growing population of individuals who have been dually diagnosed with a developmental disability and mental illness. Its new program is a part of the Developmental Training Programs at Sertoma Centre, which will provide the opportunity for individuals to receive group or individual counseling. Participants in the program also will be given alternatives to talk therapies to better suit the needs of a wide range of individuals. Art, sand and play therapy techniques will be utilized for those who struggle with expressing their thoughts and feelings. Also, the utilization of poetry, music, and journaling will be implemented for relaxation and therapeutic interventions. Contact Heather Beckner at (708) 730-6333 or at hbeckner@sertomacentre.org.

Gift cards aid shelter: South Suburban Family Shelter is participating in Jewel-Osco’s gift card program. Gift cards are available for purchase in $25, $50 and $100 increments, and the shelter will receive a 5 percent rebate for cards sold by the agency. Payment is made to South Suburban Family Shelter for the face value of the gift card: Proceeds benefit the programs and services provided free of charge to victims of domestic violence and their families. Contact the shelter at (708) 794-2140, Ext.303, or visit the administrative offices at 18139 Harwood, Homewood.

Tickets for a cause: Sertoma Centre Inc. has joined Tix4Cause.com, a ticket exchange website, to offer a new way for supporters to donate. The Tix4Cause website provides an online platform where ticketholders can donate unwanted tickets to Sertoma Centre and receive a tax deduction. Buyers then purchase these tickets, often at reasonable prices, and Tix4Cause passes 100 percent of the proceeds on to Sertoma Centre. Tix4Cause handles every aspect of customer service including ticket processing and handling. Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park is the first to donate tickets on behalf of Sertoma Centre. The tickets are valued at $140 and include four rounds of open play, 1-18 holes on their course. Sertoma Centre Inc. is a nonprofit agency that provides services to more than 625 individuals with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities and/or mental illness. Contact Melanie Jones at (708) 730-6206, www.sertomacentre.org or visit www.tix4cause.com.

Shop for PADS: South Suburban PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter) has joined the network of charitable organizations that turn gently used fashions and accessories into cash at the Spree store at 151st Street and LaGrange Road in Orland Park. All donations of gently used clothing, shoes, jewelry, purses and other accessories donated at the Spree store can earn money for PADS. When individuals drop their items at Spree and select PADS as the charity of their choice, PADS receives a check for these donations. Information: Contact Dawn Thrasher at (708) 754-4357, Ext. 107, or dawn@sspads.org.

Replenish the pantry: Elsie’s Pantry, located at Moraine Valley Community Church in Palos Hills, has an ongoing need for canned goods and monetary donations to keep up with the increasing need. Since June 2000, the pantry has served more than 27,000 people living in Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Palos Park, Hickory Hills and parts of Bridgeview, Justice, Orland Park, Willow Springs and Worth. However, donations have decreased over the past two years, forcing the pantry to use its reserves, which, if not replenished, would run out by the end of the year. Canned goods can be brought to the church between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Donations by check may be made to Elsie’s Pantry, 8601 W. 107th St., Palos Hills, 60465. Information: (708) 598-4435.

Free bag of food: New Mercies Community Services was organized in 2003 to provide support services to low-income, elderly and disabled families in south Cook County. The organization operates a food pantry in Midlothian that distributes bags of food twice weekly to this same targeted population. Food distribution is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at New Mercies Community Services, 3824 W. 147th St., Midlothian. Donations to support the service also are sought. Information: Laurie Reed at (708) 606-2864.

Come clean: Together We Cope is seeking donations of personal care items — including shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, soap and disposable razors — that will be shared with families utilizing food pantry services. Donations of any quantity may be dropped off at 17010 S. Oak Park Ave. Tinley Park. Together We Cope is a nonprofit agency assisting families in temporary crisis from 22 south suburban communities. Information: Suellen or Tina at (708) 633-5040 or www.togetherwecope.org.

Reaching out: Together We Cope in Tinley Park has established an emergency outreach food program with Faith United Methodist Church as a partner. Emergency bags of nonperishable food will be delivered to the Orland Park church to increase outreach to families needing food. The organization seeks to establish similar partnerships with other area churches. Information: Mary Ann Baer at (708) 633-5040.

Furniture pickup: Together We Cope has added an additional day to its schedule for furniture pickups in Tinley Park and nearby suburbs. With pickups on Tuesdays and Fridays, there now is new inventory of gently used furniture twice a week at the organization’s resale shop, located at 17010 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park. The shop is open six days a week, and a small donation is requested for furniture pickups. Information: Call the shop at (708) 633-9180 or visit www.togetherwecope.org. Together We Cope is a nonprofit agency assisting families in crisis from 27 south suburban communities.

Help soldiers call home: “Cell Phones for Soldiers” was started by two teenagers to help buy calling cards to send to U.S. military stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world. They are collecting old cell phones and accessories. The cell phones are recycled for cash and proceeds used to buy the calling cards for the soldiers. “Cell Phones for Soldiers” has raised almost $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas. Daniels Printing and Office Supply, 14800 Cicero Ave., Oak Forest, is an official drop-off point for any make or model cell phone. Information: www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com.

Seeking senior volunteers: The Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Catholic Charities is seeking people 55 or older willing to share their talents and help those in need at a variety of local organizations, mainly in the Joliet Diocese. Catholic Charities will match individual interests with available volunteer opportunities and will provide supplementary insurance, mileage and meal reimbursement during volunteer service. Information: Cindy, (815) 933-7791, Ext. 125.

Donate cell phones: South Suburban Family Shelter is collecting old cell phones to be recycled. The recycling process produces revenue to support the shelter’s services. The Rotary Club of Park Forest has paired up with the shelter to help in the collection process. For a list of donation sites, visit www.rotaryofparkforest.org and click on “cell phone locations,” or www.ssfs1.org and click on “donate.”

Wendy’s Night: VFW Post 177 MacDonald-Linn has a fundraiser between 5 and 8 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month at the Wendy’s Restaurant at 79th Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview. Proceeds benefit the VFW National Home for Children, located in Michigan. Participants simply order food (drive-through or sit-in) from Wendy’s during this time period, and Wendy’s donates a portion of its profits to this cause.

Food for victims: South Suburban Family Shelter is in need of nonperishable food items such as canned soups, vegetables and fruit for its clients who are experiencing domestic violence. Personal hygiene products (regular, not sample size please) are also needed. Donations may be dropped off at 18139 Harwood, Homewood. Please call ahead before dropping off items. Contact the shelter at (708) 794-2140, Ext. 303.

Text to Give: St. Xavier University’s Department for University Advancement has announced a new “Text to Give” mobile giving campaign to benefit the university’s Class Gift Fund and the St. Xavier Fund. The program allows donors to make $10 donations using their mobile phones through Give by Cell. You can make a gift to the Class Gift Fund by texting CLASSGIFT with your first and last name to 20222, or make a gift to the St. Xavier Fund by texting SXU with your first and last name to 20222. Donors can give multiple times a month depending on your carrier. Donations are tax-deductible, and pledges are billed through your monthly cell phone bill. Messaging and data rates may apply. For information, visit www.givebycell.com.

CARE Program: ComEd offers customer assistance programs that help deployed members of the military and disabled veterans who have fallen behind on their bills, plus programs for low-income families and for nonprofits. For more information or to enroll, visit ComEd.Com/CARE or call (888) 806-2273.

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Dining in the garden of plenty

SURROUNDED BY 355-rai of parkland in the Rajpreuk Club on Vibhavadee-Rangsit Road, the newly opened Man Fu Yuan offers the very best of Chinese cuisine not just to members of this exclusive club but to other patrons appreciative of fine Cantonese fare. Diners can thank TCC Group tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi for his foresight in bringing the finest restaurant of the InterContinental Singapore, which he also owns, to Bangkok’s well-heeled gourmets.

The interior, says the deputy general manager Prathan Posayanant, maintains the original decoration as much as possible through an elegant colour scheme of beige, gold and cream and the flora-and-fauna theme in the wallpaper and carpets, which represents the meaning of Man Fu Yuan – “garden of prosperity”.

“There are a few top-notch Chinese restaurants in this area. We offer high-quality ingredients with authentic fare so there’s no need to head downtown to enjoy a Cantonese meal. The Rajpreuk Club has about 1,000 exclusive members and they prefer Chinese to Western cuisine when holding business meetings or family gathering,” Prathan explains.

“As we’ve only been open a month, the menu is not yet totally complete but dinners can find 60 per cent of the dishes offered by the Singapore outlet.”

The restaurant can accommodate 150 and features six private rooms – each taking its name from a flower that has a good meaning in Chinese like lily, jasmine and orchid. The white-linen covered tables are elegantly set with bone china dinnerware and tea sets brought from Singapore to ensure an identical dining experience.

The complimentary amuse-bouche changes daily and on my visit, chef Lee Kuan Foo was offering delectable deep-fried golden needle mushrooms with a brittle texture and crispy to the touch.

The Cantonese dishes here are best paired with 10 special tea blends, among them White Peony, Royal Tie Guanyin, Dragon Pearl Supreme and Aged Pu’er. Each blend costs Bt248 a sachet. The unique in-house blend, however, is the golden-hued Man Fu Yuan Special 5 Elements with flowery notes that go well with a trio of dim sum (Bt138).

The dim sum comprises three best-selling delicacies: prawn dumpling, glutinous rice dumpling, and chive dumpling filled with prawn and shitake mushroom. My favourite was the deep-fried glutinous dumping that was crispy outside and glutinous inside and filled with minced chicken and shitake mushroom. Three dipping sauces are available – XO sauce that’s salty and hot, soy sauce, and sour and hot Shanghai sauce. Guests can opt for the dim sum delights to be served in traditional bamboo baskets for sharing, but the personal platter is a good choice for those always reluctant to grab the last piece of a communal dish.

The food can be ordered either a la carte or as a set. On my visit, I was served a five-course set menu for Bt3,288, which kicked off with the dim sum platter. The next course on offer was double-boiled shark’s fin with shark’s cartilage consomme (Bt988 if ordered a la carte) but as someone totally opposed to the consumption of shark fin, I opted instead for Double-Boiled Bamboo Pith with Flower Mushroom (Bt188 a la carte). The soup is made of chicken stock, pork knuckle and dried scallop and these are slowly simmered for six to eight hours for a clear and mild soup.

“The key characteristics of Chinese cuisine are smell, colour and taste,” says the young chef Foo, 24. “The aroma of a dish, which comes from the cooking process, and a beautiful appearance, are the centrepiece of every meal.

Up next was Braised 5-Head Whole Abalone with Sea Cucumber (Bt1,688 a la carte) on a bed of Chinese cabbage or bok choy topped with gravy. The number of heads refers to the size of the abalone – the bigger the number, the smaller the abalone. Abalone in restaurants normally range from two to up to 16 heads. Foo uses canned abalone from South Africa known for its fresh flavour, creamy colour, and succulent flesh. The sea cucumber adds a jelly-like texture that’s enhanced with seasoned gravy.

The main is Fried Rice with Barbecued Pork, Shrimp and Vegetables in XO Sauce (Bt328 a la carte), which was tasty and not in the least oily.

Aside from the set menu, I also sampled another speciality, Duck Smoked with Chinese Tea Leaf (Bt788 for half, Bt1,388 for a whole), which is cooked using a combination of Cantonese roasting methods and Szechuan smoking techniques and enhanced with aromatic tea for a crispy skin with tender flesh.

The meal ended with Pao Lava (Bt280 for three pieces), custard lava bun that can be ordered either deep-fried or steamed. On Foo’s recommendation, I tried the deep-fried version and it was superb. The crispy golden brown bun was filled with melting salted egg yolk custard that oozed like lava when torn apart. For the set menu, the bun is served together with Chilled Cream of Rock Melon with Sago for a refreshing finish.

CHINESE CREATIONS

Man Fu Yuan is at Rajpruek Club of the North Park Project on Vibhavadee-Rangsit Road. It is open daily from 11.30am to 3pm and from 5.30 to 10pm. |Call (02) 955 0403 or visit www.Rajpruek.com.

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Farm and Food: What’s COOL and what’s not

On Aug. 27, the late summer heat of Washington, D.C., was spit-roasting locals and tourists alike up and down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Inside the U.S. District Courthouse, half a block off the main thoroughfare and just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol, however, all anyone from Mexico to Canada could talk about was COOL, the U.S. law that requires U.S. food sellers to reveal — label — the country of origin of the meat they sell.

The courthouse crowd argued over COOL because earlier this year, in response to a World Trade Organization ruling, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rewrote the labeling law to be, it says, more WTO-compliant.

Not so, said some of COOL’s chief opponents, such as the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the Canadian Pork Council and Mexico’s National Confederation of Livestock Organizations, who, in July, filed a federal lawsuit to stop it.

It’s not surprising that Canada and Mexico and their respective livestock organizations would fight labeling laws that tell Americans what they put in their roasters, skillets and grills may not be American-bred, fed or butchered.

Indeed, both nations are sovereign powers whose duty is to protect the interests of their citizens by all legal means. If that includes suing the USDA in U.S. federal court over meat labeling rules that almost certainly will affect sales of Canadian and Mexican beef, pork and poultry here, well, game on.

What is surprising, however, is that the foreigners have as co-plaintiffs two U.S. livestock groups who, too, say the USDA labeling rules must be dumped.

In effect, these groups, the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, are telling U.S. consumers, who favor COOL by a 4-to-1 margin, and U.S. red meat producers, who stand to gain huge leverage in the U.S. retail meat market, to shut up, butt out and get lost.

You would think these self-crowned leaders of American hog and cattle producers actually would stand with American hog and cattle producers on labeling American pork and beef in America.

After all, it is the law; Congress approved COOL in 2002.

The hitch, however, lies with the groups’ buddies, the Big Meatpackers. The packers hate COOL because it prevents them from comingling foreign and domestic animals in feeding operations and at slaughtering plants which, when killed, chilled and boxed, then can be peddled as U.S.-sourced no matter the origin.

That opaqueness is willful, profitable and — to some — deceitful.

Not to Big Meat and its Washington lobbyists, the American Meat Institute, American Association of Meat Processors, North American Meat Association and the Southwest Meat Association. All joined the American livestock groups and Canada and Mexico to sue USDA in an effort to kill COOL. (The entire lawsuit is posted at www.meatami.com/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/92223.)

Curiously, the lawsuit’s key argument is as American as a Nebraska-raised steer. The COOL rule, it suggests, “violates the United States Constitution by compelling speech in the form of costly and detailed labels on meat products that do not directly advance a government interest.”

And what of advancing the interest of U.S. consumers who like knowing that their ground chuck came from New Mexico, not Old Mexico, or the pot roast on tonight’s menu was raised in South Dakota, not in South America?

Well, says the multinational Meat Gang, shut up, butt out and get lost.

Here’s a better suggestion: U.S. cattlemen and hog farmers should give the narrow-based, meatpacker-allied NPPC and NCBA the heave-ho. COOL is a huge winner for U.S. farmers and ranchers; that’s why our competitors and packers hate it.

Besides, when did it become not COOL to be an American farmer and rancher?

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Decorating Trend: Infusing natural elements into the your home decor

(BPT) – Nature is bringing a breath of freshness into home decorating, but it’s more than just incorporating flowering pots or opening windows. The latest home decorating trend features natural elements in the textures and finishes of furniture and accessories, giving homeowners an elegant – and often calming – result of blending nature and home living into a beautiful space.

“We really want to see the handprint of nature in our homes now,” says Elaine Griffin, New York interior designer and author of Design Rules. “Organic in the home is huge. It’s one of the biggest trends for the year, and it’s going to stay with us for a while.”

Bring this elegance into your own home with the following decorating suggestions from Griffin:

• Bring exotic looks into your kitchen with new cabinets that go beyond the basic oak or cherry woods. Griffin suggests using rosewood or zebra wood – woods formerly reserved for custom furniture. And as both new construction and remodeling projects embrace the open floor plan concept, cabinets are visible from several rooms, which makes it a style upgrade not only for the kitchen, but for adjacent spaces, as well.

• The latest furniture design trends also reflect the growing popularity of organic materials and textures, Griffin says, whether it’s a table tops left in the natural oak wood finish, or driftwood incorporated into furniture or accessories. The pale gray coloring of driftwood, combined with honey or pale colors used on other furniture or the walls is opening up spaces – moving away from the darker colors.

• The natural look isn’t just for the kitchen and living areas; it’s also perfect for the bathroom. Robern vanities and mirrors featuring Digital Wood harness the warmth of six different wood species using high-definition scans that are printed on the backside of the glass surface. The result: an easy-to-maintain material that won’t be affected by the humidity or heat commonly found in bathrooms.

“What’s genius about these new finishes from Robern is that they used the best technology to create a convincing representation of real wood that you couldn’t typically use in a bathroom,” Griffin says. “Plus, the collection has so many wood prints that you can get one that matches your bathroom style.”

• The era of matching all fabrics, styles and materials in a room has shifted into combining elements of all into a beautiful room setting, Griffin says.

“All great rooms need a mixture of finishes for furniture, with something that’s painted, something that’s wood, something that’s a metallic gold leaf, something that’s ceramic,” she says. “That’s the secret to professionally-styled rooms.”

A trend to consider: the Belgium-influenced neo-industrial style, which brings a softer, natural yet industrial touch to rooms. “It’s a soft industrial. It means you’ve combined the wood elements with metal. And that metal could be gold leaf,” Griffin advises.

Creating warm, comfortable surroundings infused with a sense of eco-elegance is why the natural elements trend has been so embraced. About to embark on your own remodel or home refresh? Be sure to explore how bringing natural elements – whether they’re salvaged materials or realistic pretenders – into your decor can enhance the ambiance of the room.

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Live Wire: Parts still around for Presto Pride cookware

Q: I purchased a set of Presto Pride cookware in Fayetteville in 1960, and I need replacement pans and parts. How can I get them? – K.S., Fayetteville

A: They’ve already worn out? Sheesh.

Just kidding, of course. Fifty-three years is a pretty good run.

If you need replacement knobs or side handles, you’re in luck. These items are still available through Regal Ware, which took over the Presto Pride line years ago.

But Regal Ware no longer makes Presto Pride and it no longer has any of the line’s pots, pans or covers in stock. If you need those and won’t settle for any other brand, scour eBay – or yard sales.

You can reach Regal Ware’s customer service department at 800-832-5932. Or check biz.regalware.com/alt/PORDERS.pgm/

Q: I have some old records that are still good, including some by Liberace and Bing Crosby. How can I find someone in the area who knows the value of these records and who would be interested in buying them? – M.B., Fayetteville

A: If you’re not Internet savvy, get someone who is to look these albums up on eBay, ideally under the completed auctions listings.

That way, you can see what the albums have actually sold for, not what someone wishes they’d get for them.

We checked those listings to see what vinyl albums by these artists were selling for – when they actually sell (and sometimes they don’t). Winning bids ranged from a dollar (or less!) to maybe five dollars, with shipping costs extra.

For buyers, if you don’t want to use eBay, you might look for album dealers at local flea markets.

Q: Is there anyone in the area who works on Oreck vacuums? – D.M., Carolina Lakes

A: Sure. Parrish’s Vacuum Center in Fayetteville is listed on Oreck’s website as a service provider. It’s at 851-D Bragg Blvd., or 630-2277.

You also could check with other vacuum repair businesses. Mackey Bentley at Vacuum Outlet Sales Service at 406 Hope Mills Road said he works on Orecks. That number is 424-3494.

There also are full-service Oreck stores in Cary (919-233-0804) and Raleigh (919-484-2288).

Q: I saw another movie on the Hallmark channel called “This Magic Moment,” and the main character was named Clark Gable, after the famous actor. Did the actress who played his younger sister used to be on “Days of Our Lives”? – C.C., Fayetteville

A: Yes. Molly Burnett played Melanie Layton on the soap for four years.

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Local artist’s work to hang in Children’s Hospital


NORTHFIELD — Local artist Linda Jacque has sold her works far and wide, to collectors and famous musicians, but her favorite clients are kids.

This week, she brought her latest piece to Boston Children’s Hospital.

An abstract, futuristic cityscape with flying saucers and supernovas above, the colorful, 3-D piece is made from wood, clay and lots of paint.

Jacque drove to Boston to deliver the piece in person.

“It will hang in the hallway of the hospital’s trauma unit, where kids recovering from head injuries exercise,” she explained. “I hope it will inspire them.”

Though that completed piece will hang in a hallway two hours away, an ongoing project reaches kids closer to home.

“I’m doing a mural with the kids at Northfield Elementary School,” she said. “I did the design and the outlines, and the kids get to do their own thing, filling it in. I come back afterward, and add the details.”

She’s not being paid a lot for it, she said, but she’s getting some compensation she can’t attach a price to.

“It’s rewarding when the kids come down the hallway, hug me, and say thanks,” she said.

She may also be passing along the artistic inspiration she received as a child.

“My mom used to draw with us a lot when we were little,” Jacque explained. “I liked to emulate her style. She always helped us with our art projects in school, too.”

Art is still a family affair for Jacque. An upright piano in her dining room is adorned with shapes and designs she painted with her two boys and her stepson. They’ve all got their artistic side, she said, though they don’t practice it as much as their mom.

Jacque’s extended family helps out with her art, too.

“My aunt has come to help with all my art shows for the last 22 years,” she said. From shows in Northampton to New York City and beyond, Jacque takes her family with her, in spirit and in person.

Though many painters work exclusively in one medium or another, anything serves as a canvas for Jacque.

Old clocks, tag-sale furniture and discarded drums are all fodder for her.

“I like to take old pieces apart, re-do them, and paint them,” she said.

Her different styles of artwork are about as varied as the pieces they adorn.

“I get bored doing the same styles over and over,” she said.

Throughout her Millers Falls Road home are things like an old chest of drawers painted with the rolling hills and vineyards of a Tuscan-style scene, geometric patterns on an old drum turned into a chair, or kitchen staples like bowls, plates and Lazy Susans painted with images of produce.

She also makes less functional items, purely for decoration. They include “door toppers” to accent entryways, Picasso-style canvas paintings, and custom stained glass pieces, to name a few.

Though she now paints what she wants, when she wants, Jacque got her start in more commercial aspects of art.

After studying at Greenfield Community College, then New York’s Pratt Institute, she entered the world of advertising. In addition to ads, she came up with designs for product lines, and has a collection of these early works at home. One glass cabinet sports a selection of jars, bottles and plates with a happy, busy-looking chef on them.

“I did a lot of table-top dinnerware, gift items, stained glass designs, as well as stationery and paper bags,” she said.

Her career in place, Jacque set out to be her own boss and got out of the advertising world.

“It’s been an interesting journey,” she said. “I consider myself lucky. Now, I can do what I want.”

“The best part is that I was able to be home with my kids while they were growing up.”

Her youngest, Camden, is 11. Now that he’s getting older and more independent, she feels more free to travel.

She’s been to several European countries, always traveling with a sketchbook and other art supplies. She’ll make art anywhere, she said, be it a bus terminal, at the airport, or lying in bed at night.

One of the most inspirational places she said she’s been is right here in North America.

“I love all the bright colors in Mexico,” she said. She might get a chance for a much cheaper return trip.

“The place that I stayed at, in Oaxaca, offered me a trade (for some art),” said Jacque.

She’ll be taking a trip south this fall, though she won’t need to bring a passport.

Jacque is a regular at the Paradise City Arts Festival, to be held Oct. 12 to 14 at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton. She said she usually does quite well, often selling out at art shows.

She also sells her art online. You can view a selection at www.bitvibe.com/collections/linda-jacque. For a wider array of her pieces, try typing her name into a Google search. Jacque often does so herself.

“It’s interesting when I search for myself online and see all the places my art ends up,” she said.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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The Food Almanac: Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Annals Of Condiments
Today in 1837, pharmacists John Lea and William Perrins introduced the sauce that bears their name, and the generic name Worcestershire sauce. They concocted it from fermented anchovies, tamarinds, molasses, vinegar, garlic, chili peppers, cloves, and a few other things, on the orders of Lord Marcus Stanley. Stanley had just returned from many years in India, and he was trying to duplicate a sauce he’s become addicted to there. (Most likely, it was something along the lines of Southeast Asian fish sauce, variations of which are widely used in cooking there.) 

The first attempt tasted horrible. Lea and Perrins left it in a barrel in their basement and forgot about it for two years. When they found it again, they discovered that it had fermented into something rather good. And the rest is history. We use it constantly in our cooking, as does most of the English-speaking world.

Annals Of Wine Marketing
The venerable Beringer winery in St. Helena, in the Napa Valley, was bought today in 2000 by the Foster’s Brewing Company of Australia. Beringer had, under previous owners, already evolved into a medium-low-end winery with a few excellent flagship wines. It seems to me that in the Foster’s years their overall quality has improved a bit, but that may be because wines in general have improved a lot. In any case, Beringer’s wines have become more popular.

Food On The Air
Today is the anniversary of the first paid-for broadcast commercial, aired on New York radio station WEAF for an apartment development, today in 1922. Until that time, everyone was excited about radio, but nobody had figured out what would pay for the costs of broadcasting. This was the answer. Or an answer, anyway. It keeps my radio show alive, that’s for sure.

Today’s Flavor
It’s National Cornbread Day. Cornbread has a distinctly country, home-cooked identity. When you start talkin’ ’bout cornbraid, ya gotta git yersef into a Southern draaaawwwwwl. I guess that’s why we only rarely see cornbread in restaurants. Or it could be that restaurants can’t buy ready-made cornbread of any quality. It must be baked on site. But why not? It’s simple enough: cornmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, eggs, milk, oil. Unless you want to get ambitious an add cheese and jalapeno peppers and the like. Which is not a bad idea.

Most cornbread is baked in a cast-iron pan, from the kind that has impressions of ears of corn to full-size black iron skillets. The main controversies over cornbread are over texture and sweetness. The more flour in the mix, the smoother the crumb. You use more cornmeal if you like it good and crumbly. All cornbread has at least a little sugar in it, but some recipes have quite a lot, and taste distinctly sweet. Both flavors have vocal partisans who love one and hate the other.

Cornbread may be too assertive to be served as the only bread on a dinner table, but certain dishes cry out for it. Red beans and rice, fried catfish, and barbecue come to mind. The best cornbread in New Orleans is the jalapeno cheese cornbread at K-Paul’s, followed closely by Emeril’s cornbread with whole corn kernels inside. Most of us have always had our cornbread at home, for breakfast. My mother gave it to us right out of the oven, with cane syrup to dip it in. Dat’s good stuff, yeah.

Edible Dictionary
cush-cush, n.–An old Creole and Cajun breakfast dish made by combining cornbread–usually stale pieces left over from a few days ago–with milk or cream and sugar, and simmering it until soft. The name probably comes from the sound the stuff makes when you work it with a fork, to get the cream to soften the old cornbread. I say this with some authority, because I used to watch my mother make it (for herself–nobody else was interested) when I was a kid. There’s also a story that the name comes from couscous–the northern African dish of granular pasta–through some roundabout adaptation in Cajun country. Although not may people eat cush-cush anymore, the dish lives on in a football cheer for the LSU Tigers. It must be said with a Cajun accent, and it comes out like this: 

Hot boudin and cold coosh-coosh 
Come on Tigers, poosh poosh poosh!

Gourmet Gazetteer
Cornville, Maine 04976 is in the central part of the state, fifty-five miles west of Bangor. It’s in a rolling part of the state where farms long ago gave way to woods, but there are still quite a few large plantings in the area. Cornville is a crossroads community of such farms, with a spread-out population of about 1200 people. It has a long history, having been settled in 1794 and incorporated four years later. I’ll bet the holiday season is pretty around there. You have to drive five miles into Skowhegan to eat in a restaurant. We recommend the Golden Eagle.

Food In Medicine
Today in 1878, George H. Whipple was born. He’s the man who discovered that pernicious anemia, a problem you don’t hear about much anymore, can be addressed by feeding the patient liver. Or the essence of liver, which is how it’s done now. I’d much prefer to eat the liver, especially if it’s the Provimi veal liver at Clancy’s or Pascal’s Manale. . . Also, the Oral B trademark for dental floss was registered today in 1951. Now it’s on everyone’s lips.

The Saints
This is the feast day of St. Augustine, former man about town, gourmet, lover of wine, and all-around playboy who reformed and became one of the greatest early philosophers of the Church. As Bishop of Hippo, in Northern Africa, he has come to be revered by those of African descent. I was baptized in St. Augustine’s Church in the Treme section of New Orleans, and spent first and second grades in their school. This is probably not mere coincidence: St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest permanent European town in the United States, was founded today in 1565.

Food Namesakes
Anne “Honey” Lantree, the drummer with the British rock group The Honeycombs, was born today in 1943. . . Former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg Rosemary Ginn was born today in 1912.

Words To Eat By
“If you ever have to support a flagging conversation, introduce the topic of eating.”–Leigh Hunt, British writer, who died today in 1859.






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