“We’re the kitchen crew,” said Chrissy Banker. “Chris does the grill and I’m known for my healthy salads.” On nice days, before the Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center opened, the Bankers could be
found grilling lunch on the patio at Windham’s main lodge. When AFS’s building opened in 2006, Chris and Chrissy started flipping burgers on ASF’s deck. “At first we were grilling on the nice, sunny days,” said Chrissy. “Next, the word spread and we were doing it every weekend, in all kinds of weather. Originally it was all on the deck, then Jimmy Barnes got us the steam table and we moved inside.”
It’s a family affair for the Banker clan, who live in Belle Harbor, New York. 15-year-old Brittany helps with the dicing, chopping and shopping, works in the ASF Playroom and aspires to be a volunteer instructor next year. 12-year-old Jackie is a slicer, dicer and server and 7-year-old Christian is the cookie inspector.
Of the kitchen crew, Chrissy said, “Half of us are related and half are friends. We’re all so close, it’s like we’re all family.
When asked what keeps them coming up every weekend, Chrissy said, “Driving home this weekend after meeting all the soldiers, and listening to my kids talking about them and all their amazing stories, I found myself smiling and enjoying hearing who they met. It is clear this is why we are here, in giving of our time we receive so much more in return. Meeting the wonderful people that breeze in and out of that building from all walks of life, with such different backgrounds, with so many inspiring stories, keeps our family very grounded and reminds us of what’s truly important in life.”
ASF is very fortunate to benefit from the Banker family’s culinary skills, smiles and generous hearts.