A sweet thing to do

Williamsport high consumer class students bake desserts for soldiers serving in Iraq

Williamsport high consumer class students bake desserts for soldiers serving in Iraq

April 20, 2005|by TAMELA BAKER

WILLIAMSPORT - Iraq may be a long way from Williamsport, but students in the family and consumer science classes at Williamsport High School are doing their part to win the hearts and minds of Iraqi children, and at the same time, to encourage American troops still serving there.

While studying a unit on baking, students in teacher Dusty Graham's classes are making "desert-safe" cookies to send to Iraq. They're also gathering small toys for troops to distribute to Iraqi children.

Graham said she got the idea to send children's items from fellow teacher Douglas Davis, a Western Heights Middle School social studies teacher now serving in Iraq. He told her that toys for the children would go a long way in shoring up Iraqi-American relations.


So, using recipes designed especially to meet Middle East guidelines and U.S. Postal Service regulations, the students split into groups of four to whip up batches of double-chocolate brownies, butterscotch scotchies and other treats.

Graham said 11 packages of cookies and toys will be sent to servicemen whose names were submitted by students and teachers.

One of the packages will go to the cousin of Megan Remsburg, a Williamsport freshman. It won't be entirely a surprise, she said; she'd already let him know the goodies were coming.

But even those students who had no family or friends in harm's way were enthusiastic.

"I just like cooking and preparing for them, to give something back because they're doing so much for us," said sophomore Ashley Colvin.

And lest anyone think that it's only a woman's place in the kitchen, a crew of guys said they were happy to bake for the troops, too. "I'm trying to do all I can to help them out," said Brendan Benisek, a sophomore, who confessed to doing a little finger-licking while stirring the dough.

Dustin Fisher, a junior, said they cook about twice a week in class, and that he cooks a lot at home, too.

Sophomore Brian Thomas doesn't. "If I cook, it's at my house and it's not baking," Thomas confessed.

Graham said the project won support from a number of sources, including financial donations from teachers as well as some local service groups, including the Clear Spring American Legion Auxiliary, VFW Post 1936 and the Improved Order of Red Men, Conococheague Tribe 84, and its Order of Pocahontas auxiliary.

She even got a donation from two exchange teachers from Hagerstown's sister city, the German city of Wesel.

On Tuesday, only one more task remained for Fisher: He planned to sample the goods before they were sent off to the desert.

For desert-safe recipes to send to troops in Iraq, visit VeryBest on the Web.

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