Mother-daughter tea party benefits SHIM

Published Sep 11, 2013 at 6:11 am (Updated Sep 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm)

Eighth grade girls from Upper St. Clair started their school year on a generous note, organizing a “Mother Daughter Tea Party” to benefit the South Hills Interfaith Ministries (SHIM).

Held Aug. 25 at the USC Recreation Center on McLaughlin Run Road, the tea was a fun and relaxing afternoon for moms and their daughters and included refreshments, a photo session, games for the girls, and a raffle.

With the slogan: “Our goal is to fill the shelves of SHIM”, attendees were asked to donate items needed by SHIM, receiving a raffle ticket for each item they brought.

Coordinating the event were Cassie Henrick, Ahnna Jones, Zoe Karidis and Kayla Senneway, all students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Fort Couch Middle School.

Because one of the requirements for eighth-grade IB students is 30 hours of community service, the girls explained, they started investigating potential projects earlier in the summer. During a visit to SHIM, Zoe Karidis said they learned that the organization does not typically receive a lot of donations in the summer, so by the time school starts there’s not a lot left on the shelves.

“We decided to stock the food bank,” said Karidis.

Once the girls decided on what organization they wanted to assist, they decided on the mother-daughter tea party and started planning the event. From advertising, decorating and baking, to planning games and favors, the girls took care of every detail, including set up, clean up and recruiting friends to help.

Alyssa Cuddy, Isabela Eiriz, Allison Epler, Nathalie Frenette, Katy Hall, Anvi Kumar, Maya Narayanan, Abby Skeel, Jordan Spradlin and Ava White assisted with preparations and at the event. Helping with baked goods and other items but unable attend the tea were Bess Gillece, Kate Groninger and Grace Krah.

When attendees arrived, they were greeted at the door and shown to the registration area where they dropped off their food items, received their raffle tickets, and were assigned a time for their photo session. They were then invited to help themselves to an assortment of tea sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and a variety of baked goods. Once everyone had arrived, the eighth graders had several games arranged for the younger girls, a raffle and homemade pink candy tea pot lollipops for everyone to take home as favors.

Violet Rizer, who was at the tea with her mother Amanda, said of the event, “I love it.”

Brenna Schmitz commented that the food was “really good,” while her mother, Lindsay, said the event provided nice mother-daughter time.

After the event, all the food collected, 261 pounds, was delivered to SHIM. “The timing was perfect for us,” said SHIM Community Relations Manager Ann Cullen.

“We were thrilled for them to think of us,” continued Cullen. “They made an effort to come here and find out what we needed and went above and beyond for the planning of the event. We were really impressed.”

In addition to the donation to SHIM, the remaining baked goods from the tea party were delivered to Peters Township Meals on Wheels.

For more information about SHIM, visit its website at

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