Tomato Head sandwich special to benefit Sister-to- Sister Summit

The Tomato Head at 211 W. Broadway in downtown Maryville will be selling a special sandwich all day Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008, to raise money for the American Association of University Women Maryville Branch eighth annual Sister-to-Sister Summit.

Proceeds from the sale of a special “Sister-to-Sister” sandwich will go toward this year’s Sister-to-Sister Summit.

Tomato Head’s owner, Mahasti Vafaie, is also providing sandwiches and chips for all student and adult participants of the Summit. The Sister-to-Sister Summit is scheduled for Nov. 6, 2008, at Preservation Plaza in downtown Maryville.

Every year the Maryville Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) organizes the Sister-to-Sister Summit to bring together young women from all the middle and high schools in Blount County. This year over ninety girls from seventh to twelfth grades have registered.

The girls submit a questionnaire describing their greatest concerns about themselves, their schools, and their community. During the full-day event, the girls break into smaller groups with trained facilitators and brainstorm about solutions to these concerns. At the end of the day, the girls vote on a plan of action to facilitate and implement positive change throughout their schools, home, and community.

From the issues submitted during registration, the three most frequently cited are used as the topics for discussion and problem-solving. This year the topics are body image and self confidence, close relationships, and friends and “friendemies.”

The girls are encouraged to articulate the messages they want to convey, the services they need, and the changes they want to make. As the Plan of Action is developed and approved through the final vote, the girls are able to address real issues that impact their well-being, both in school and life, and discover ways to propose meaningful solutions. Research shows that by sharing experiences with each other, girls gain confidence to support one another, change risky behaviors, and establish new goals and dreams.

More information about this year’s summit and past summits are available on the AAUW Maryville website at http://www.discoveret.org/aauwmvil. The Tomato Head’s website is http://www.thetomatohead.com.

Additional donations for the summit may be made through the Women’s Equity Foundation at http://www.discoveret.org/aauwmvil/wef/donate.htm.

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