Above: Leroy Doyle and Tiru Moten serving lunches to their colleagues, as they do five days a week in GAC's Culinary Unit.
Both Tiru Moten and Leroy Doyle are active members in our Culinary Unit. They plan, prepare, and serve our lunches, and they do it as a team. Although they did not know each other before they joined GAC, they have become the best of friends.

Tiru, a Milwaukee native and 1991 Custer H.S. graduate, is 48. He lives with his grandmother and his uncle on the northside of Milwaukee and loves sports. A man of few words, he arrives at GAC's Culinary Unit by 10 a.m. from Monday to Friday and works preparing and serving lunch.

Tiru says: I first heard about GAC 11 years ago from my caseworker at Outreach Community Health Center. GAC gets me out of the house and occupies my time. I resisted at first and I didn't want to join. I thought I'd be with a bunch of crazy people. But then I got involved in Culinary, loved the work, and also got to know everyone. It's such a great place.

I began to realize that all people have issues and that when we meet on common ground, we're the same. I was never much of an attention seeker, but I do like preparing and serving lunch, and watering our plants. For now, I also like working at our Group Placement at the Milwaukee County Department of Housing.

Lately, I have been thinking about maybe going back to school. I love the many different salads we make here at GAC. Perhaps next year I will take a course on salads and then I might consider working in a restaurant. I have learned so much from Tim (Voss), Jenna (Houillon) and Glen (Satterlund). They are my teachers. Something else I am looking forward to is a family reunion. My roots are in Little Rock, Arkansas. Because of the pandemic, I haven't seen any of my relatives since the summer of 2019.
Leroy was born in Endanola, Mississippi in 1956, one of 9 children, 3 of whom died as babies. He came with his mother and 5 siblings to live with his maternal grandparents in Milwaukee. The family lived at 14th and Vliet and then on 24th and Hopkins. Leroy attended North Division H.S. until eleventh grade. The father of 3 children, he now lives by himself.

Leroy says: I first heard about GAC from my therapist. She said to me, 'you might really like it.' At first, I was very disappointed because I had to wait a full month to join GAC, and then once I got here, it took me a while to get used to all the people. I kept saying to myself, 'don't label people; give yourself a chance to get to know them.'

Then, I began to love being at GAC--not just the work, but the relationships too. I first learned how to work in a kitchen from my mom. Now, I really enjoy working in our Culinary Unit and I am very proud of the work that we do here. I'm especially proud of the meals we prep for members to take home.

The work we do is part of me and I'm not ashamed to say that for me the work is love. Preparing and serving food--even running the dish washing machine-- is how I show love. I can't think of another way to put it.

I have family all over--in California, Georgia, Michigan--but I'd be very lonely without this place.
Tiru and Leroy are leaders at Grand Avenue Club. They are well-respected by all their colleagues. Their culinary skills are much appreciated; however, their generosity and thoughtfulness toward others have had the biggest impact on their colleagues and friends.
Above: Michael Anderson and Tiru are diligent about watering and caring for the plants, flowers, and herbs throughout GAC.
Above: Once reluctant, Tiru now never turns down an opportunity to grill up a masterpiece meal for fellow colleagues.
Above: Leroy preparing to add a little "spice" to one of GAC's lunches.
Above: Leroy takes a break from the kitchen to lend his green thumb to the Culinary Unit.
Right: Leroy and Tiru have been working side-by-side preparing and serving lunches in GAC's Culinary Unit since 2016.
Above: Michael Anderson, Tiru Moten, and Leroy Doyle are leaders in the Grand Avenue Club Culinary Unit.

The Colleagues of Grand Avenue Club