Child’s Idea Starts Community Tradition

Initial A Guy, A Girl on a Bench collects food and sundries for West Deerfield Township Food Pantry.

Tradition begins with an idea and that is what Kevin’s Place owner Kevin Quigley thinks Wilmot Elementary School third grader Eden Chaban has done.

With the inaugural afternoon in front of the eatery, Quigley hopes that is what he and Chaban have accomplished.

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Quigley wants the event to become an annual part of Deerfield’s holiday calendar collecting for the pantry just like Three Guys and a Truck has become a major summer event in Deerfield for the same purpose.

“When Three Guys and a Truck started we filled (part) of a truck,” Quigley said. “Now people can line Waukegan Road from the high school to the pantry (a distance of 1.8 miles) handing it from one to another.”

The weekend’s event started with a field trip Chaban took with her class to the pantry. When she realized there were people in the Village without food and shelter, she wanted to do something about it.

A regular at Kevin’s Place with her family, Chaban shared her concerns with Quigley one Saturday morning and he developed the idea with her. They both see it as an annual event.

“Do you know how many years we’ll be doing this between now and the time she’s a senior in high school?” Quigley said. That would make it the ninth annual A Guy, A Girl on a Bench before Chaban graduates from Deerfield.

On Saturday, Chaban was just happy with the initial effort. “It’s great,” she said of the event. “So many people are bringing cans.” She and Quigley had support through the weekend from Michelle Chaban, Eden’ mother, and Les Friedman, Eden’s grandfather.

“We’re very proud of what she’s done,” Friedman said. “I’m happy to be part of it.”

Michelle Chaban echoed the sentiment. “I’m so proud of her,” she said. “She’s always helping at home, even with her younger brothers.”

Neither Chaban nor Quigley were discouraged if people did not know about the event yet. “It’s the first annual,” Eden said.

Quigley assured her it would continue to grow. She had a simple solution for those who did not stop by and still want to donate during the holiday season. “Kevin’s Place is always a drop off (for the food pantry).”

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