Daily Southtown (Sunday)

Student chefs test pastry decorating skills

- By Paul Eisenberg Send news to communityn­ews@ southtowns­tar.com.

High school students from throughout the Southland devoted extra attention to their work at a recent competitio­n at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills.

That the contest focused on cookies didn’t make it any less serious.

Nine area high schools sent competitor­s in late October to Moraine Valley Community College for the annual High School Pastry Decorating Competitio­n. Teams from Eisenhower in Blue Island, Shepard in Palos Heights, Richards in Oak Lawn, Reavis in Burbank, Andrew in Tinley Park, Argo in Summit, Stagg in Palos Hills, Sandburg in Orland Park and Oak Lawn Community faced off in the college’s Culinary Arts Program kitchen.

Previous meets involved cakes or cupcakes, but Jeanne Kraus, Moraine Valley instructor of culinary arts, suggested changing this year to cookies, which allowed teams to work with royal icing, which is cleaner than buttercrea­m, Kraus said.

Kraus and her MVCC students baked cookies for the competitio­n shaped like bats, pumpkins and circles using Kraus’s recipe, which some of the high schools used to practice for the competitio­n. The high school students worked in Moraine Valley’s kitchen without help from their teachers, though Moraine Valley students were on hand to assist. Three experts in the pastry field judged the finished products.

First place went to Eisenhower, second place went to Andrew and third place went to Stagg High.

“It was amazing, their creativity. Some groups didn’t even decorate the pumpkin shape as a traditiona­l pumpkin,” Kraus said. “Everyone enjoyed working with cookies. My students had fun as well. It

seems like every year we do a Halloween theme, so next year we’re going to change things up. I hope it’ll be even better next year.”

Mokena Knights of Columbus donate coats

Just in time for the season’s coldest weather, the St. Mary of Mokena Council 6993 Knights of Columbus delivered 36 new coats to St. Coletta’s of Illinois in Tinley Park to be distribute­d to developmen­tally disabled people served by the nonprofit social service agency, which also provides educationa­l, residentia­l and vocational training services to children and adults from the south and southwest suburbs.

The coats were distribute­d to students from St. Coletta’s Kennedy School as well as adults from St. Coletta’s Community Day Services program.

Rich Township students pack honor roll

After first quarter figures were tallied, about 40% of

the 2,404 students enrolled at Rich Township High School achieved honor roll status, according to a news release from the school.

Officials said 227 students made the Gold honor roll for maintainin­g a grade-point average of 4.0 and above, 311 students made the Silver honor roll with GPAs of 3.5 to 3.99 and 412 students made the Bronze honor roll with GPAs ranging from 3.0 to 3.49.

Palos East students stock food pantry

Student Council members at Palos East Elementary School in Palos Heights recently held a food drive for the Palos Heights Food Pantry. Students collected nonperisha­ble food and also packed it for delivery to the pantry for distributi­on to people in need.

“It is amazing how generous our Palos East families are in making our drive a huge success and helping our community,” said 5th grade teacher Cathy Casey. The Student Council’s next project is a collection of gently-used gym shoes from Dec. 4 to 8 at the school,

7700 W 127th St., to benefit the nonprofit organizati­on Sneaker Impact.

FEMA teams hit Calumet City, Dolton, Riverdale

Disaster Survivor Assistance crews from FEMA are going door-to-door in south suburban neighborho­ods of Cook County, helping residents affected by the Sept. 17-18 storms and flooding navigate the federal assistance process. Crews have started in Calumet City, Dolton, and Riverdale, with plans to move to other impacted communitie­s in the weeks ahead.

These crews will be visiting homes, businesses, and nonprofit organizati­ons in affected areas to help residents register for assistance, identify, and address immediate and emerging needs, and make referrals to other local, state, and voluntary agencies for additional support.

DSA crew members will never ask for or accept money and will always be wearing a FEMA identifica­tion badge with a photograph. A FEMA shirt, vest or jacket is not proof of identity.

While helping someone register, they will ask for personal informatio­n, including Social Security number, annual income and bank informatio­n. Residents are encouraged to ask for identifica­tion before providing any personal informatio­n. They can also call the FEMA Helpline at 800-6213362 to verify a FEMA visit is legitimate.

Cook County residents don’t have to wait for a DSA crew to register for assistance. To register, download the FEMA Mobile App, visit DisasterAs­sistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.

Pet vaccine clinic in Homer Twp.

Homer Township is partnering with SNIP Society, NFP and VAX-IN-8 for a Low-Cost Pet Vaccine Clinic from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at Town Hall 16057 S. Cedar Rd., Lockport.

The clinic will offer services including rabies vaccinatio­ns and tags, and Will County residents can have their animal microchipp­ed for free courtesy of Will County Animal Control. Appointmen­ts are needed with the SNIP Society

at 815-630-4411. More informatio­n is at www. homertowns­hip.com.

Sierra Club to discuss food waste, composting

Sierra Club’s Sauk-Calumet Group will host a program by Sharon White of the Pachamama environmen­tal group on Food Waste and Composting Solutions at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Frankfort Public Library, 21119 S. Pfeiffer Road, and on the Zoom online platform.

The program will present several strategies to reduce food waste at home, composting, and reducing your family’s carbon footprint. More informatio­n and a link to the online program are at www.sierraclub.org/ illinois/events-calendar.

Caregiver program on navigating holiday events

Caregivers can learn strategies to help navigate holiday events when a loved one has dementia at a Caregiver Support Group at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at Smith Village, 2320 West 113th Place in Chicago.

This support group provides a confidenti­al, safe and supportive environmen­t and aims to combat the isolation many caregivers experience.

Meetings are free and open to all those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia and are planned for the third Tuesday of every month.

Alzheimer’s Associatio­n volunteers Alice Keane and Bridget Murphy lead the group. More informatio­n is at 773-474-7300.

 ?? MORAINE VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE ?? A team from Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, including instructor­s Amy Van Syckle, from left, and Donna Hart, and students Mike Donaldson, Isabel Reyes and Adrianna Torres, and instructor Lauren Paska, took first place in Moraine Valley Community College’s annual High School Pastry Decorating Competitio­n.
MORAINE VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE A team from Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, including instructor­s Amy Van Syckle, from left, and Donna Hart, and students Mike Donaldson, Isabel Reyes and Adrianna Torres, and instructor Lauren Paska, took first place in Moraine Valley Community College’s annual High School Pastry Decorating Competitio­n.

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