Last month, the community came out in full force to show their support to affected farmers from canal break in the Goshen/ Gering-Ft. Laramie Canal, and this week the funds raised from the Grilling for Growers fundraiser were presented..
Fresh Foods hosted Grilling for Growers on August 8th, and served more than one thousand people that evening as part of the fundraising efforts. When all was said and done, $13,874 was raised from burger and brat sales, raffle tickets, a bake sale, and free-will donations.
On Wednesday morning, Gering Fresh Foods owner Kerri Dishman presented the check to the Oregon Trail Community Foundation, which is handling the bulk of the funds collected.
Dishman said it’s amazing what a community can do when they all work together for a common cause.
“Our first intention was to encourage our farmers,” explains Dishman. “And then the second one of course was to raise money to show them that we really do support them, and the community just poured out that night and it’s really exciting.”
OTCF Executive Director Cathy McDaniel says that Fresh Foods donation brought the grand total to approximately $91,000 in the fund, and she expects that number to continue to grow in the coming weeks and months.
Platte Valley Companies President/ CEO Hod Kosman was also on hand for the presentation. In the wake of the canal break, PVC launched a disaster relief fund page on their website. He tells KNEB News that they’re working on collecting some sizable donations as well that have not been accounted for in the OTCF totals.
“We have a number of pledges that have been made that are from larger companies and those just haven’t arrived yet,” adds Kosman. “But they will be arriving, so we’ll be well over $100,000.”
Kosman adds that work is underway to finalize the fair and proper way for all funds to be distributed to all the affected growers.
Additionally on October 5th, the Farmer Strong Benefit Concert featuring Ned Ledoux and Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band hosted by 21st Century Equipment will also provide a massive boost for the relief effort as well. 100% of the proceeds will go to that relief fund, and tickets can be purchased at www.kneb.com/tickets.