What do you get when you add 13 enthusiastic third-grade Girl Scout Brownies from Holmes Elementary School, plus the very patient Chef John Tutaj of Holley Court Terrace? You get a meal prepared by the Brownies themselves, with the food and kitchen space donated by Holley Court Terrace. The best part of this equation is that this meal was then donated to Parenthesis, which holds a dinner for teen moms and their children on Wednesday nights! My troop had the privilege of preparing and donating this meal, along with Holley Court Terrace, on Jan. 19.

When Laura Hunnewell, a volunteer Brownie mom, took on the task of finding somewhere that would allow our troop to use kitchen space to cook a meal for Parenthesis, she looked no further than Holley Court. Chef Tutaj also graciously assisted in the Holmes Family Organic Garden Harvest Dinner in the fall. At the Harvest Dinner, Holley Court’s chef donated his time and some food items as well, which helped to make that dinner a success!

When my Brownie Troop of 13 girls arrived at Holley Court, we were escorted to a room off of the kitchen all set up for our cooking lesson. There, the girls made salad, meatballs and cookies for the teen moms and their children. Chef John assisted the Brownie Troop with the recipes. My troop even worked with two Holley Court residents, Lorraine and Julia.

While the meal was cooking, Chef John took the girls on a tour of the beautiful building of Holley Court Terrace. My Troop also owes a big, “Thank you,” to all of the workers at Holley Court Terrace who took a moment to talk to the girls about their jobs. The girls were also so warmly received by the residents, who took a moment to wave or say hello!

This experience was only made better by the graciousness of Ann Puccetti of Parenthesis, who so happily greeted us with our troop’s and Holley Court’s donation of dinner. A few days later, my troop promptly received a thank you note from Ann and the teen moms!

In teaching my troop one of the most important principles of Girl Scout law, which is to “make the world a better place,” we feel so very thankful to have such wonderful people in our village, who helped us make this possible. Chef John Tutaj of Holley Court Terrace and Ann Puccetti of Parenthesis, thank you for assisting us in this endeavor! Sometimes it does indeed take a village!

Philomena Harbaugh
Oak Park

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