Local Staten Island Professionals Give Back to Eden II with Fundraiser and Cooking Lesson
Members of Richmond County Referral Source, Inc. spent a busy day volunteering at Eden II Programs’ Honorable James P. Molinaro Center for Autism, located in Stapleton. The group raised $10,000 for the teaching kitchen during an Oktoberfest event held at the Center. The teaching kitchen allows Eden II participants to learn daily life skills like cooking healthy meals, baking, doing dishes and putting away groceries.
Jamie Arnold, Director of Educational Services, says, “The kitchen is used every day by students who are working independently to cook their own meals, as well as by students who are at the most basic steps of simple utensil identification or learning how to stab with a fork or cut with a knife. It is these basic skills that all come together to allow our students to independently make their own lunch. This is the end goal of all of our teaching, so participants learn to not only make themselves a meal when they are home, but this could also generalize into a job in the food industry.”
The group worked on a cooking lesson with Eden II participants, making sliders, while learning about the students’ daily lessons.
“I am very thankful that people from Richmond County Referral Source wanted to come and learn about our school. I was excited
to have a cooking lesson with them” said Eden II participant, Meghan Mattei.
“Richmond County Referral Source is proud to have partnered with Eden II in their ongoing effort to provide vital skills for those achieving self-sufficiency. The success of this fundraising campaign was driven under the co-leadership of Stefanie Racano and Joe Arnone,” shared Joseph Torres, Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch and member of RCRS.
Joe Arnone, Chairman of the Oktoberfest event and member of RCRS, shared, ”We’re happy that the students will be able to learn and develop life skills in and around the kitchen. Eden II does so many great things for so many wonderful students and it was an honor help raise funds for the Eden II teaching kitchen.”
Eden II Executive Director, Dr. Joanne Gerenser, noted, “We’re thankful to Richmond County Referral Source, Inc. and all of its fantastic members. These were individuals who didn’t necessarily have a connection to Eden II or autism, but in one night, they came together in a big way to help the autism community. It shows such a commitment, and I’m thrilled to have amazing Staten Island community members like Joe and his group.”
A permanent recognition plaque was also revealed and displayed in Eden II’s teaching kitchen in honor of Richmond County Referral Source, Inc.