American children may make mud pies for fun, but they don’t eat them.

Recent news reports out of Haiti, however, tell us that people there are eating pies made from dirt, salt and shortening.

Sabrina Beaudry, of Forest Park, is heading to the island nation on March 7 to help alleviate the suffering of this desperate population. And her efforts will likely have a direct impact on the children of Haiti as she is slated to help build an orphanage for youngsters there.

But she has to get there first, and Beaudry is counting on your tips.

Friends and neighbors will have an opportunity to contribute to Beaudry’s cause Thursday, Feb. 7 at Skrine’s Chops, 7230 Madison St. The restaurant’s owners are allowing Beaudry to guest bartend at 7 p.m. and keep any tips for her trip to Haiti.

“The cost for this trip is about $2,000,” Beaudry said. “I only need about $800 more, but whatever money I raise at Skrine’s will go toward the organization.”

Through a group called Hearts for Haiti, a project of the United Methodist Church, volunteers like Beaudry have installed an irrigation system, a church, a school and medical clinics. Hearts for Haiti has been a faithful partner to the people of this island nation. Even when they’ve been warned that the town of Jeremie was too violent and dangerous to visit, they’ve moved ahead with their efforts.

The orphanage they are expected to build will house 30 children between the ages of 2 and 12. A total of 34 volunteers will construct the concrete building during a three-week period, with help from the locals.

“We’re paying Haitians a weekly salary of $30 to help build it,” Beaudry said. “I’ve always wanted to do something like this, although I don’t know what my actual job will be.”

The suburban speech teacher moved to Forest Park three years ago, and does not know any of her team members for the Haiti trip, as they are all coming from the Bloomington, Ind., area.

A friend of Beaudry’s father, Bob Ostermeier is heading the project.

“We’re making concrete blocks by hand and using them to construct the building,” Ostermeier said. “The orphanage will be built on the grounds of the Gebeau Haiti Methodist Project, which includes dental, medical, eye and tuberculosis clinics, as well as an agricultural project.”

For her part, Beaudry knows nothing about construction.

“It’s on the job training,” she said. “I have no skills beyond using a hammer and screwdriver.”

In addition to her lack of construction experience, Beaudry has never bartended, either. Skrine’s owner Mary Rita Skrine shares a mutual friend with Beaudry, and said she was excited to get involved in this charitable effort. Skrine is holding the fundraiser in an upstairs party room, which contains a bar and newly installed fireplace.

“It’s an opportunity for a small business to help out a local person,” Skrine said. “And it’s a chance for more people to try out our pork chops.”

John Rice

John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball...