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Hope Social Club helps small town ride out long winters

By Shannon Ballard 8:02 PM December 13, 2013

One woman in Hope is cooking up a solution to the winter blues

HOPE – Not many people live in Hope, but most who do have been to Cheryl Stavish’s kitchen. Cheryl is busy working away, because in Hope, the winter makes this quiet town feel empty.

A lot of the locals had complained there was nothing open, so Cheryl worked to cook up a solution. With every restaurant closed for winter, she opened up her home and started the Hope Social Club, creating a place for her community to gather.

“They come in, they pay their dues and they can eat,” Cheryl said.

Normally she’d need a restaurant license. To get around that, for just $1 a year, anyone who lives or owns property in Hope can become a member.

“It grew to 60 in the first month to maybe 70, about 70,” she said. “It continued to grow throughout winter, so by spring we had 105 members.”

People come to her home for all different reasons, Cheryl said.

Some don’t have kitchens of their own. Others just want to talk.

“When they come here we just spend our time with them so they get the social interaction they need, especially because there are not many people in this town,” she said. “Like Peck. He doesn’t see anybody but us.”

Peck Hassler is one of Cheryl’s regulars. He’s at her home every morning for his cinnamon roll, juice and coffee.

“Hope is not a big ass town,” Peck said. “It’s pretty small. You get ten people in one place, that’s a lot of people.”

And as far as Cheryl’s cooking goes, Peck and others say it’s some of the best.

Cheryl said she loves seeing happy faces when they’re done eating and knowing she made a difference. In return for a fresh cooked meal, all Cheryl asks for is a contribution.

“It’s just suggested,” she said. “They don’t have to, but I’ve never had a person walk in here and not contribute.”

For her, it’s not about making money. It’s about the friendships and helping her community.

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