La Grange, IL – The La Grange Memorial Hospital Foundation has received a gift from its youngest donor ever — 9-year-old Samantha Tracy of La Grange.
Samantha, a fourth grader at Spring Avenue elementary school, plans to donate proceeds from her backyard cafes this summer, a figure that may reach as much as $300.
Her gift will extend further with help from Community Memorial Foundation, which has pledged to match the gift, said Beth Leuck, executive director of the foundation.
An avid cook, Samantha came up with the idea of hosting a cafe breakfast or lunch for her friends and neighbors. Her mother, Beth, loved the idea and wanted to teach her daughter about giving back to others.
After meeting Leuck and taking a tour of the hospital, Samantha decided her gift would go to the foundation.
“We are delighted to have a wonderful young person like Samantha put her concern for our patients into action,” said Leuck. “She demonstrates to all of us that you’re never too young to help your neighbors.”
On Wednesday, July 25, dignitaries from the foundation and the hospital attended Samantha’s Sunnyside Cafe for a luncheon that included Samantha’s award-winning chicken salad (she recently won an Iron Chef contest at the Burr Ridge Park District), tuna melts and brownies.
“Everything I make, I try to make it as healthy as possible, except for the brownies,” Samantha said. “I’m really good at using the grill. It’s another way of cooking instead of the stove. I love to grill salmon.”
With the order-taking, serving, kitchen prep work and mingling, Samantha wasn’t able to take part in sampling her creations. Her lunch for the day? A Kraft Lunchable.
“Samantha is a symbol of everything that’s good about this community,” said Tim Cook, ALMH CEO. “When we rally that spirit with our mission at the hospital, we all will win.”