As part of the 2020 renovations to the Springfield Township Arts Center, one of the programming desires of the ArtsConnect board was to create a learning kitchen, a space where children could learn to cook healthy after school snacks and adults could develop their culinary skills under the direction of a master chef. Due to issues of space and the need to responsibly focus the limited funds available on other areas of need, the learning kitchen had to be placed on the back burner… okay, pun intended.
The dream of a learning kitchen was especially dear to our long-time board member, Debbie Vargo. Sadly, this past January, the world lost Debbie after a brief and aggressive battle with cancer. We miss her dearly.
In Debbie’s memory, ArtsConnect would like to purchase a mobile cooking cart, complete with induction burners, a sink, convection oven and all of the teaching tools necessary for success. Through your support, we could bring the art of cooking to the arts center.
As part of this effort and to assure this kitchen provides lasting impact on our community, donations surpassing the cost of the mobile cooking cart ($13,000) will be placed into a scholarship program in Debbie Vargo's name. The goal of this scholarship will be to provide FREE healthy cooking classes to high school girls participating in the Springfield Township Empowering Youth program. (STEY) This program, which was also close to Debbie's heart, is facilitated by female Springfield Township Police Officers. The program provides mentoring and training of everyday life skills to girls with challenges beyond what any teen should experience in life.
Rich Silbiger and Debbie Vargo volunteer together at an ArtsConnect event