Silver Spade Award winners announced; special thank yous presented to special volunteers!
“Cream of the Crop” Silver Spade Award winners
For months and months, she hung in as Greens&Jeans Committee Chair and built the foundation from the ground up of our Greens&Jeans event, from helping to select an event concept, to the name, to the venue, committee, to throwing a “Gathering for Good” pre-party, to running her legs off the week and the day of the event. She is truly the queen of our county fair fundraiser!
Gail Starratt and Farmers’ Choice USA
Gail and Farmers’ Choice help large commercial produce farmers get their “seconds” on to people’s plates instead of into the landfill. After the Harvest was their first nonprofit partner, seeking to provide more variety in the fruits and vegetables going to feed hungry people. We’ve been able to accomplish just that with this partnership.
Acquisition Team at Harvesters–The Community Food Network
ATH works together with this team (Mike Wedel, Lupe Aragonez, Gary Wilks and Gwen Hawthorne) nearly every day to coordinate fresh produce deliveries. In fact, our work is so intertwined that Harvesters pays freight expenses on each truckload we bring them. Even as we wrap up the year, we’re still working hard to get extra produce in for the holidays.
K-State Olathe Horticulture Research and Extension Center
This year, OHREC donated over 16,000 pounds of produce left over from research trials to feed hungry people. Thank you to Cary Revard, Kim Oxley, Zac Hoppenstedt and Paul Andersen for paving the way for OHREC to become a very valued ATH partner.
Board President-Elect Kelly Schwalbe
Need hay bales and corn stalks? Kelly hauled them in from his own farm. Need some advice on ticketing? He’s on it. Need signs or a media list? He provided them. Kelly brought the expertise and contacts of Sage–A Creative Marketing Agency, where he’s a partner, to ATH, whether making introductions to important contacts like the folks at John Deere or bringing the entire Sage team to the fields to glean (no easy picking either….they dug potatoes!).
Grower of the Year
Bill Voigt and the employees of Voigt farms
Bill has worked with ATH for several years, but it wasn’t until this year that our partnership really blossomed. At the peak of the growing season, we gleaned or picked up at Voigt’s three times a week, totalling 43,683 pounds of donated produce this year. Our ability to plan ahead for this produce allowed several agencies to count on a weekly delivery from us and gave us the option to recruit volunteers for a specific location weeks in advance.
Volunteer of the Year
From helping us serve guests during our Gathering for Good Party to delivering loads of watermelon in the back of her car to one of our food agencies, Debbie has stepped in exactly where we need her at just the right time. Not only did she make the VEG Squad this year–and even fought the floods in Parkville to come to a gleaning in Edgerton, KS–but she also opened her home to us in preparation for Greens&Jeans and spent hours making props for our booths.
Donor of the Year
The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City
HCF provides leadership, advocacy and resources to eliminate barriers and promote quality health for those who are uninsured and underserved in our community. ATH is so fortunate that we’ve been able to work with Jane Mosley, Adriana Pecina and Brenda Calvin. They have gone out of their way to help us. HCF has recognized the good things that After the Harvest brings to the community and to those who are under-served and too often dismissed. The foundation has been a strong supporter since our inception, having provided five grants, totalling $730,000!
The Charlotte Merrill Distinguished Family Award
The Merrill family
This award was created to honor a family or families each year that join together to support ATH. We named this award to pay homage to a special person who is no longer with us–Charlotte Merrill–and, indeed, to recognize her whole family–her husband, past Board President and current Board Member Jim Merrill; her son, Board Member Matt Merrill; her daughter, Liz Moyes who headed up auction item solicitation for Greens&Jeans; and son-in-law, Michael Moyes who helmed the culinary team for Greens&Jeans. They all have continued to keep Charlotte’s spirit alive in their commitment to After the Harvest.
The Heenan Family
The Heenan family is the second recipient of the Charlotte Merrill Distinguished Family Award. Matt Heenan volunteered for us weekly for months and then recruited his whole family. Sister Jessica gleaned with her daughter Aurora and helped at several key events this year. Lorry and Curtis, Matt and Jessica’s parents and his sister Katie are also active gleaners and supporters of our organization. This summer they helped harvest a corn field whose rows stretched farther than we could see and as always, it was with a positive and “can-do” attitude.
Thank you to the VEG Squad volunteers
The Vegetable Emergency Glean Squad really does come to our rescue and those volunteers were given a big thank you during the awards! These are volunteers who have gleaned at least five times this season on a weekday, which is often the most challenging time to find volunteers. Not only that, but they are willing and able to help us when we have last minute pop-up gleanings, with very little notice!
Bernadette Graves, Beth Welsh, Bruce Bisby, Debbie Jensen, Jane Alley, Jason Pogue, Laura Pogue, Lori Mitts, Steve Mitts, Sue Forbes, Ben Derks
Andrei Kolobodov, Julia Stepenenko, Mary Dees, Nancy McDonald, Barb Chapman, Barb Decker
Special Recognition Second Year:
These VEG Squaders came to our rescue a combined 170 times this season: Randy Burge, Tom Decker, Jeff Horn.
Thank you to Greens&Jeans volunteers
Special thanks went to these folks as they helped launch the first ever large scale fundraiser for ATH, pulling off an amazing party and raising over $37,000.
Sally Teahan, Liz Lillis, Elisa Haake, Kelly Schwalbe, Abby Hedari, Ashley Habiger, Anne Tierney
Special behind the scenes volunteers:
Tia Sandoval, Jordan Stevens, Leslie Gast, Debbie Jensen, Jessica Rogers, Barb Decker
Special recognition for creating Greens&Jeans graphics:
Special recognition for creating an ATH video:
Crystal Nichols and Jamie Connerly