Winnetka, Community

Help New Trier seniors fatten up service project during Feast Week, Dec. 6-16

Step away from the kitchen and head out for Feast Week from Monday, Dec. 6, through Dec. 16 when many local restaurants will donate a portion of sales to the New Trier High School senior class project benefitting Habitat for Humanity. 

Feast Week student leader Elizabeth Payne, of Wilmette, said the impactful fundraiser has multiple benefits.

“This is an exciting time for restaurants to be involved in a wonderful cause,” Payne said. “Not only does Feast Week encourage families to support local restaurants, the event is our largest fundraiser and directly impacts Habitat for Humanity all at the same time.” 

Senior Sarah Bewley commented on the third party who benefits.

“Personally, I think it’s important to participate in Feast Week because the money that we earn from this fundraiser goes towards helping a family become homeowners and build generational wealth,” she said. “We, on the leadership board, are so grateful for those that participate in Feast Week, and we know that our Habitat partner family will be too.”

The calendar of participating restaurants for New Trier’s Feast Week fundraiser.

Each day from Dec. 6 to Dec. 16 a different local restaurant will donate proceeds to New Trier’s senior class project, which is a long-standing tradition that teaches students how to make a difference in the lives of others, while learning valuable skills. 

During the first half of the school year, students plan multiple fundraising initiatives that come with hefty student responsibilities. 

“We learn so much through this one project,” Payne said. “We must learn how to communicate effectively and promote our plans to over 5,000 New Trier parents, reach out to local businesses and then publicize and market our own events.”

During the second half of the year, the students head to their designated Habitat home, where they  paint, build, clean and otherwise prepare the home for a family in need. 

The students work alongside other volunteers and even the future homeowners, and the collaboration results in the gift of home ownership for a family that may not otherwise afford the opportunity. 

When Payne and fellow leadership board members shared the details of the project to prospective restaurants, Payne said all restaurant owners were “super receptive.”

One of those restauranteurs, Kenilworth’s Matt Halack, owner of Grateful Bites Pizza Shop in Winnetka, said he wouldn’t miss the opportunity to be involved in such a great cause.

“We are always happy to support programs at New Trier. It’s impossible to say no to these kids when they are out there hustling and giving up their time to volunteer,” Halack said. “Also, this initiative reminds our community to support local restaurants and businesses. Local business is part of what makes these small communities so unique. We are all very fortunate to live where we do.” 

Grateful Bites, 899 Green Bay Road, is featured on the final day of Feast Week, Dec. 16. Opening Feast Week on Monday, Dec. 6, is La Taquiza, 566 Chestnut St.

Other participating restaurants include Spirit Elephant in Winnetka (Dec. 7), Pescadero (Dec. 8) and Napolita (Dec. 13) in Wilmette, and Hometown Coffee and Juice (Dec. 11) in Glencoe, as well a handful of others..

Be sure to announce your support for Habitat for Humanity and receive a punch card and chance to be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card to the Feast Week restaurant of your choice.  

New Trier senior Henry D’Souza said the enthusiasm from the restaurants is greatly appreciated. 

“Each restaurant participating helps us do a great thing,” he said. “The people who work there are kind-hearted and hard worker and deserve every ounce of support we can offer them. I absolutely cannot thank each restaurant and their respective employees enough for how much they are helping us and how great they’ve all been to work with.”

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Alexa Burnell

Alexa Burnell is a Wilmette resident who has been covering the North Shore for the past seven years, previously for The Wilmette Beacon and its sister newspapers.

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