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Tour of kitchens raises money for teen pregnancy prevention
Joan Smith, with Our Daily Bread, puts out a tray of crackers with cream cheese and jelly at the Jennings home during the “Food for Thought — A Tour of Kitchens” event Sunday. - photo by Tom

Some Hall County residents opened up their homes Sunday afternoon so visitors could sample good foods for a good cause.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention, a Gainesville-based nonprofit organization, sponsored “Food for Thought — A Tour of Kitchens” as one of its two main yearly fundraisers.

Kim Chu of Gainesville heard about it from Lisa Richter, the event’s chairwoman, and decided it might be “something fun to do after church.” Rob Call of Loganville accompanied her on the tour.

“We both like to cook,” Chu said.

“We both like to eat,” Call added quickly.

She nodded and said, “Especially gourmet foods.”

Sunday’s event was the organization’s sixth.

The organization’s overall mission deals with “overall wellness ... of the adolescents in our community,” said Judy Holcomb, who chairs the board of directors.

“The programs (the organization features) are in response to what our community wants and needs. It’s not an urban program or a national one; it’s very unique for our kids,” she added.

“You can’t separate the pregnancy issue from the total person. Some of the programs work on goal-setting, self-esteem, developing healthy relationships and making right choices. And that’s all food for thought.”

Teen Pregnancy Prevention began as a task force in May 1985 and took on the name it has today in 2000 “to better reflect its mission,” states the program for Sunday’s event.

The group provides abstinence-based prevention programs, counseling and support services, and community education and awareness programs.

In Sunday’s event, ticketholders could wander among five homes spread among three neighborhoods, visiting kitchens and sampling foods prepared by professional chefs. Musicians also performed in the homes.

Holcomb estimated early in the day that some 200 people would visit the homes, at $30 per person.

Teen Pregnancy also sponsors “One Hundred Women” as a fundraiser. “The idea is we ask a hundred women to give $100” in handwritten notes from board members, Holcomb said.

“Food for Thought” gives visitors an opportunity to speak personally with chefs, something that generally doesn’t happen at restaurants.

“They can ask them how they make what their making,” Holcomb said.

Christopher Harwell, executive chef at The Holbrook of Lake Lanier, learned about “Food for Thought” through catering for the Northeast Georgia Heart Association’s “Heart Ball.”

Trinity Lifestyles Management, The Holbrook’s parent company, “is very philanthropic all through the community,” Harwell said. “They really feel that community involvement is very important.”

Eve Jennings, one of the homeowners on the tour, said she was glad to open up her house “for a great cause.”

She said she was enjoying her first time as an event hostess.

“It’s great; I’m just hanging out,” Jennings said. “I didn’t have to do anything. (Teen Pregnancy Prevention) has gotten it all taken care of.”

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