PTO, family benefits from perfect dinner


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Citing research that backs common sense wisdom that meals eaten together with their families can affect young people's health and behavioral choices, the perfect dinner is offering a program to market to families of school-aged children while benefiting school Parent Teacher Organizations and other youth-oriented groups.

The program ask PTOs or other groups, such as children's athletic organizations, to promote the perfect dinner within its organization for a week. In return, the organization receives 10 percent of all sales from people within the group for the week.

Organizations can expect to raise $100 without doing much in the way of promotions, said Karen Gruber, one of the owners of the perfect dinner. By promoting the program, proceeds could be raised to $200 or more, she said.

This week, families of Oak Park and River Forest High School students get free study snacks and #2 pencils with each dinner to celebrate finals week. Ascension School will get 10 percent of Ascension sales during the week of Jan. 24, with the Hatch School PTO and Mann School PTO in the next two weeks. The Brooks Middle School PTO is scheduled for the week of Feb. 21. Irving and Beye elementary school PTOs have already used the program.

The program also benefits families, Gruber said. It is consistent with the business' mission to facilitate the family dinner, to "take at least one of the obstacles away of sitting down together," she said. Dishes come in trays that are safe for the oven or microwave. A family of four can get a medium entree and a medium side from the perfect dinner for approximately $8 per person.

And the food is wholesome?#34;"as good as home or restaurant fare," Gruber said.

OP biz coach helps women entrepreneurs
Camille Baxter of Impact Coaching & Consulting in Oak Park has joined with another business coach to launch The Catapult Project: Helping Women Launch New Ventures in Business.

The six-month program will help five Chicago women who were either ready to start or had just started their own business, were willing to work with the coaches and had limited financial resources, according to a press release.

The coaches hope to give the women the "critical skills necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs," including image and presentation, communications and networking, delegating tasks, employee management and advice specific to each woman's business.

Baxter and Glory Borgeson, a business coach from Wheaton, selected women who were "coachable" and ready to commit to the program.

The pair plans to offer the program again. For more information call Borgeson at (630) 653-0992.

Whole Foods to start animal compassion nonprofit
Whole Foods Market will donate 5 percent of sales globally on Tuesday, Jan. 25, to raise capital to start an independent nonprofit for the compassionate treatment of farm animals.

The company hopes to raise $500,000 from its 166 stores in the U.S., Canada, and United Kingdom, including the Whole Foods at 7245 Lake St. in River Forest.

The nonprofit, Animal Compassion Foundation, will "search the world for innovative animal compassionate farmers and ranchers whose methods can be studied," according to a statement from Jane Leder, media publicist for Whole Foods.

"Now in its 25th year, Whole Foods Market has the scale and scope to impact the way animal products are brought to market," Leder writes in an email message. "The chain already has the highest meat standards in the industry.... This is an opportunity to raise the bar in treating farm animals with more compassion."

The company chose Jan. 25 as part of a year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary.
?#34;Drew Carter

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