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Inaugural lecture of The Pampered Chef Family Resiliency Lecture Series to be Oct. 19

Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor
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MEDIA ADVISORY NOTE: The news media are welcome at this invitation-only event.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The seemingly lost tradition of shared family meals will be the focus of the inaugural lecture of The Pampered Chef Family Resiliency Lecture Series to be held Oct. 19 (Thursday) at the Illini Center, 200 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago.

Doris Kelley Christopher, the founder and president of The Pampered Chef Ltd., and Elizabeth Pleck, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will be the keynote speakers for "Celebrating the Family Mealtime Tradition."

The lecture series is part of a new partnership between The Pampered Chef, a company that markets kitchen tools through direct and in-home sales, and the UI department of human and community development.

A $500,000 donation over five years from The Pampered Chef will support the lecture series, faculty research and graduate fellowships all designed to help families meet the challenges of modern life.

Christopher, a 1967 UI graduate who founded her company in 1980, is the author of "Come to the Table: A Celebration of Family Life." In her book, she says the kitchen table is "the heart of every home" but that "families today have lost sight of the table and its timeless ability to transform."

Pleck, a professor of history and of human and community development, will present what she calls a "cultural history of the family meal." The foundation for her talk is the 1943 Norman Rockwell painting "Freedom From Want." Pleck is the author of the newly published book "Celebrating the Family: Ethnicity, Consumer Culture, and Family Rituals."