Duffy’s brings in Girl Scouts, Palm Beach School For Autism to ‘Pie It Forward’

Duffy’s Sports Grill continues to make a difference for homebound seniors in need. The Duffy’s Foundation recently participated in a fundraiser to support the Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches Pie It Forward Thanksgiving program as each pie sold provided a week of meals for homebound seniors in Palm Beach County. The successful Thanksgiving fundraiser included 3,000 pies sold. The Duffy’s Foundation also teamed up with the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida and the Palm Beach School For Autism at its headquarters in Lake Worth to assemble and decorate boxes for 300 pies for Pie It Forward. “It’s extremely rewarding for us to have made such deep ties with groups like the Girls Scouts and Palm Beach School For Autism, which are in the same community as we are in,” said Geri Emmett, Duffy’s Foundation chairwoman. “They write a nice note on the inside of each box. They decorate the boxes and a little heart cookie goes into the middle of every single pie to signify our message of delivering with love.” Duffy’s customers contribute to Pie It Forward by providing an opportunity to round up their check during their Change for Charity program. They also raise funds through the program with several other organizations, including Lake Worth Beach-based Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, which helps families mail care package items to military service members overseas. “Our MVPs (loyalty members) and everyday guests rounded their check up to give back,” said Duffy’s spokeswoman Tracy Clary. “For the month of December, all 100% of proceeds in Change for Charity will go directly to Meals on Wheels to help continue this through the holidays. Our MVPs are so incredible and they love the opportunity to give back. We are always doing our part to give back to the community. This particular fundraiser every year is so special and encompasses so many different organizations that come together for one goal and that is to help feed the senior citizens during Thanksgiving.” Emmett said the Girl Scouts received a Duffy’s cooking patch for decorating the boxes. “The Girl Scouts is a group of such community-minded young girls,” she said. “It’s always fabulous when I run into Girl Scout families at our Duffy’s locations. It’s been a special relationship with them for many years.” Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida spokeswoman Melinda Glasco said it was an opportunity to give back to the community. “We have been involved with Pie it Forward for seven years,” she said. “It’s a natural extension of what the girls love to do and one of the main pillars is community service. It really is amazing and an opportunity to work with multiple organizations. It’s a great partnership to bring it all together. It’s all about giving to the community during the holiday season. The Girl Scouts build friendships and bonds. They get to meet a variety of other girls. They love to be able to do things together and be involved in the community.” The Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida participate in several events, including a cookie sale in February and community service food drive in April. They also use proceeds from fundraisers to reinvest in community service projects to help others. The Girls Scouts of Southeast Florida provides several programs for its participants. The Art Fest program allows girls to learn from different artists. The career program allows girls to meet powerful and inspirational women in different fields of work. The mentor program provides an opportunity to learn different skills. They also have a mental wellness program. Ronica Deshmukh, a junior at FAU High School in Boca Raton, has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. She volunteered during the Pie it Forward fundraiser for the first time. “It’s a great opportunity to help other families in need,” she said. ” I enjoyed decorating the boxes, writing notes and making drawings.” Deshmukh said she enjoys participating in Girl Scouts programs and events. “It really does provide you with so many cool opportunities that a lot of people do not realize,” she said. “I have traveled to Costa Rica, Panama and Canada. It’s a space for girls to get together who are like-minded and make those friendships that you don’t really get to in a lot of other places. We have so many great programs. I have attended so many fun events. We have fundraisers and give back to help others in the community.” Duffy’s also provides training to members of the Palm Beach School For Autism’s Project Next program, which is designed for students ages 18 to 22 to learn skills to earn future employment. The participants train at Duffy’s four days each week for a three-hour morning session during a six-week program. They learn how to roll up silverware, put children’s menus together, take ice into the bar area, dishwashing as well as other skills at the restaurant. “When the students are aged out, hopefully they will have learned skills they can apply at stores, restaurants and hotels to get a job,” Emmett said. Visit mowpbpie.org.

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