Harborcreek Youth Services Wins Contest, Gets Kitchen Makeover
Did you ever watch one of those makeover shows on TV where an expert comes it and gives a home, or a bar, or a restaurant, an entire facelift? That's what's happening in the kitchen area of Harborcreek Youth Services (HYS).
HYS provides behavioral health care for kids who experienced trauma in their lives. It's been around for 110 years. The kitchen is old. Just ask Kelly Blaney.
"Some things that were here were kind of dated. They weren't user friendly at all for a kitchen staff,” she said.
Blaney is the general manager.who oversees the food service operation at HYS. She works for Metz Culinary Management which is contracted by the agency. However, it was the previous manager, Bonnie Felton, who entered a makeover contest sponsored by a national food service magazine. Amanda Karns, Special Projects Coordinator at HYS, helped Bonnie with the application and loved working with her.
"She was from Metz but she became a part of Harborcreek heart and soul,” says Karns. "Bonnie knew the name of every single kid here."
"She put in all of the legwork,” says Blaney. “She entered the contest. She wrote everything that was needed and followed up on it. Unfortunately, in the process, Bonnie got sick."
Bonnie died the same day Harborcreek Youth Services learned it won the contest. The agency beat out 95 other finalists for the prize. The kitchen area will receive a makeover worth at least $50,000. Some at the agency believe Bonnie arranged for some divine intervention.
"You know, I almost like to think that she gave it to them. I really do. It just kind of makes me feel better that way,” says Blaney.
Everyone at HYS is excited about the makeover. The kitchen and cafeteria area have been cleared out to make room for a more modern and efficient operation. No one knows exactly how the final result will look. AJ Zambetti, Brand Manager of Metro Foodservice, is in charge of the makeover. He says one thing is certain. Bonnie will be honored in some way.
"All the effort she put into this, she really wanted the best for the kids and it was apparent in the way they all talked about her,” he said.
The renovation is ready to start. Erie News Now will show the results on Monday's episode of The Last Word.