Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Norma Adams Sproull Sept. 22, 1931 - Aug. 16, 2012 Turned 'Three Rivers Cookbook' into Multimillion-Dollar Fundraiser

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Norma Adams Sproull Sept. 22, 1931 - Aug. 16, 2012 Turned 'Three Rivers Cookbook' into Multimillion-Dollar Fundraiser

Article excerpt

Sometimes, a community cookbook is just a community cookbook.

In the hands of Norma Adams Sproull, however, the "Three Rivers Cookbook" became an international, multimillion-dollar enterprise.

Ms. Sproull chaired the first edition of the 1973 cookbook -- for which she oversaw the testing of 2,000 recipes, personally shopped to stores as far away as San Francisco, Calif., and Brussels, Belgium, and raised $3.7 million, and counting, for the Child Health Association of Sewickley.

"She would walk into stores and say 'You really need to have this cookbook,' " said her son, Edward Sproull, of Westfield, N.J. "When she took things on, she saw them all through."

Ms. Sproull, of Sewickley, died Thursday of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 80.

Ms. Sproull was born in Bronxville, N.Y. -- the granddaughter of silent film star Dora Mills Adams and a descendent of presidents John and John Quincy Adams. She moved to Sewickley in 1969 when her husband, Edward Sproull, joined PPG Industries as vice president of taxation.

She conceived of the cookbook when the Child Health Association was looking for a fundraiser and made it a success with tireless drive and exacting detail. She commissioned the ink drawings for the book, for example, and decreed that none of the recipes would run over a page. When she traveled with her husband for his business trips, she always took a box of cookbooks along.

The "Three Rivers Cookbook" -- and three subsequent volumes -- have sold more than a million copies. They are still in print and are sold through the Child Health Association and other outlets.

At a 2004 event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the cookbook, others on the committee recalled Ms. Sproull's organizational capabilities.

"Norma has tremendous executive ability," said Pat Cavalier, who was president of the Child Health Association was the cookbook was proposed, at the 2004 event. "If she was CEO of US Airways, it wouldn't be leaving Pittsburgh. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.