Eleanore St. John Sutton and Ryan Conway serving it up at last Sundays Taste of Chestnut Hill.

by Paula M. Riley

Teenagers, Inc. promised that this year’s “A Taste of Chestnut Hill” would offer a new venue and a new celebration for an old fundraiser. Attendees at last Sunday’s event found that was just what they got.

“Everything about the new location was perfect – it was warm and friendly,” said long time attendee Janine Mazzarelli. “The big windows and votive candles in popcorn centerpieces created a great atmosphere and the Guatemalan blankets as décor were perfect for this group of kids who have done so much locally and for Guatemala.”

Teenagers, Inc. members butlered hors d’oeuvres and desserts that were donated by area restaurants and businesses. A buffet included various appetizers and sandwiches that were more than satisfying.

Thai Ku provided edame, fried vegetable dumplings and their very popular crispy chicken wontons. Paul Roller from Flying Fish was generous with his donations of crudité platters and pigs-in-a-blanket. He also opened up his restaurant so Teens could get buckets of ice needed at the event.

CinCin’s spring rolls, chicken cheesesteak sliders from Campbell’s and fabulous wings from Chestnut 7, Tavern on the Hill and Darcy’s kept the crowd satisfied. The endless dessert table featured mint chocolate pieces from Heirloom and four trays of apple cobbler from Mica as well as fancy cupcakes from Night Kitchen and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Teenagers, Inc. members and young adult board members handled every aspect of the event. Food pick-ups were coordinated by Colin Koch, all drinks and food were served by teens and Brennan O’Donnell and Carlos Diaz acted as emcees, sharing their experiences with Teens, Inc.

“Seeing how happy people are in Guatemala, even though they have so little has taught me a lot” said Garappo, referring to the service trip Teens, Inc sponsors each year to Antigua, Gautemala. His enthusiasm, as well as that of all participating teens, is what made the fundraiser special.

“A Taste of Chestnut Hill” is Teenagers, Inc. largest fundraiser. Known as Teens, Inc. this non-profit group fosters a community spirit among area teens and provides opportunities for them to socialize in a safe environment. The organization relies upon the community’s generosity to offer many social, service, tutoring and leadership opportunities for youth in seventh through twelfth grades. Currently members represent 15 different schools in the area.

“This event works because of the teens’ commitment to helping that day and integrating fun and organizational skills along with various ethnicity and faith as they step beyond their bubble and help make this great,” said Marianne Dwyer, Director of Teens, Inc.

She applauded the many restaurants that donate and the businesses that give raffle donations. Learn more at www.teensincphilly.org or Facebook.