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NEWS STORIES

Open Arms Soup KitchenSubmitted: 10/05/2010
Story By Alex Ronallo

TOMAHAWK - In this Making a Difference story we introduce you to three local women welcoming people in for a hot meal.

Open Arms Soup Kitchen in Tomahawk served up it's first bowls of hot soup to people in need in Tomahawk Monday night.

Phyllis Gorecki enjoyed a dinner out with friends. Something they don't get to do too often.

She says, "There are many people on fixed incomes and people without jobs."

So Phyllis and the girls came to the grand opening of Tomahawk's Open Arms Soup Kitchen. It's a place you can come for a free, hot meal. Paige Heikkinen, Heidi Gronna, and Teri Cernoch created Open Arms because they saw a need.

"People have lost their jobs, you know, or their hours got cut," says Teri.

"Feels real good to do something for the community to help people," says PAige.

And it's not just Paige, Heidi and Teri who stepped forward.

Teri says, "Three people can't do it by themselves for starters. The community has just been awesome with their support."

Other organizations have donated money and many volunteers have donated time to give people like Phyllis a nice evening every week.

Phyllis says, "Everybody that's sitting with me lives alone so this is an opportunity to meet with your friends."

Open arms is about more than just a bowl of soup.

Paige says it's about, "Fellowship and company."

And even though the soup kitchen has only been through it's first night, the creators want to bring a lot of hungry people to the table.

Teri says she's, "Hoping that they'll come every week and bring somebody new."

"But it doesn't matter if we only had five. We're going to continue and I'm sure we'll see it grow," says Paige.

"This is a nice Monday night activity," says Phyllis and it's one she hopes to turn into a ritual, with good food and good friends.

The 3 creators of Open Arms Soup Kitchen in Tomahawk got the idea, because Heidi Gronna helped start one in Merrill, which is a huge success.

The Tomahawk Open Arms will run every Monday evening from 5 to 6:30pm at the Corpus Christi center.

Call 715-966-2100 to find out how you can help.


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