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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Cookies: A delicious way to get people to a public meetingPosted Saturday, March 1, 2008, at 7:27 AM
There is a old saying that goes something like "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" that actually has its origin with the American statesman and second president of the United States, John Adams.
From "Wise Words and Wives' Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New" by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993) we learn that in an 1814 letter Adams wrote: "The shortest road to men's hearts is down their throats," and some years later Richard Ford's "A Handbook for Travellers in Spain" (1845) advised, "The way to many an honest heart lies through the belly."
Well, the Bloomfield Town Council is to be commended for coming up with a delightful and creative spin on those old adages that they hope will draw a good crowd of folks to a special public hearing on Tuesday night.
Town officials are hoping that offering some lip-smacking home-baked chocolate chip cookies might draw a crowd to the important public meeting set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the Bloomfield Fire Station, located on Mill Street.
Now that's thinking outside the box in a special way for this Greene County community.
The hearing is part of a state grant application process.
The town has applied for a $500,000 grant to assist with a downtown revitalization project. The town plans to use the grant money to replace sidewalks throughout the downtown area and will pay for installation of electrical outlets for seasonal decorations and do storm drainage improvements.
Town Council President Joann Carmichael, who's been on the job two months now, says her mother's famous chocolate chip cookies might just be the drawing card needed to get a crowd of people to the meeting who will be willing to fill out letters of support for this much-needed project.
"We're trying to get as many people there as possible. I am making cookies. The president of the council is making 'Hanauer' cookies for the meeting to entice people to get there," Carmichael said this week.
Anyone who knows the council president knows that her mother, Barbara Hanauer, makes the best, most delicious chocolate chip cookies in the world. They have drawn raves in the Bloomfield area for years and I've had the privilege of munching on my share of them over the years.
The cookies have been made by the hundreds of dozens over many years for boys and girls Bloomfield athletic teams and other area school athletic teams, choral groups, church groups, senior citizens -- and just about any kind of other group you can imagine. The cookies have also been devoured by women's college basketball players at Valparaiso University where Bloomfield product and Hannie's granddaughter Sara McIntosh Figg played ball. Her cookies were also hand-delivered to members of the Purdue University basketball team on several occasions during the Gene Keady coaching era.
The town council will also offer coffee, tea and lemonade to the attendees at the public hearing.
The town was unsuccessful in its previous grant application last year by what Carmichael called a "lack of public support."
Serving up those special "Hanauer recipe" cookies ought to go a long way to boast public support for this or any other project that might come along.
This is just a great example of not being afraid to think outside the box and do something for the good of the community from a little different approach.
We hope there is a big crowd at the meeting and enough cookies to go around.
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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