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Lemont Curves members cook for families in need

LEMONT – Curves of Lemont is holding a bake sale next week to raise money for a group of members who also work as charitable cooks.

Member Marilyn Colby started the McCooks in 2008. The group fixes meals for families at Ronald McDonald houses six to eight times a year. The houses offer support for families whose children are being treated at nearby hospitals.

Colby said she takes about six volunteers per visit. Each brings a pre-made dessert, but everything else is prepared on site.

Easy meals such as spaghetti and tacos are common so the ladies try to fix something different, she said.

Some of the meals have been casseroles, cupcake lasagna, chicken squares and beef and broccoli turnovers.

Colby said she comes up with the recipes and buys the ingredients herself for each visit.

Curves of Lemont owner Susan Parmigiani said the fitness center held a bake sale fundraiser for the McCooks last year. She wants to make the sale public this year to get the word out about the members’ volunteer work.

“We’re all women, and being women, we are very nurturing,” she said. “We are a shoulder to cry on.”

Member Ruta Vaznelis of Lemont said she was initially scared to visit the Ronald McDonald House because she thought she would have to see the sick children.

But after she saw that she would be interacting with the families, she found helping them with meals to be a meaningful experience.

“They’re busy sitting by their child’s bedsides,” she said. “They don’t have time to worry about cooking.”

Colby said the McCooks have become popular with the families at the Ronald McDonald Houses.

“We must be doing something right,” she said. “When we come, people come to see what we’re making.”

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