Texas International Produce Association Announces Details of Viva Fresh Open; Dante Galeazzi and Bret Erickson Comment
MISSION, TX - We recently heard some heartfelt news that the 8th Annual Viva Fresh Open will posthumously recognize Gracie Gonzalez, longtime employee of the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA), who passed away in 2020. In addition to honoring this industry member, the event will raise funds to support scholarships and programming that promote fruits and vegetables from the Tex-Mex corridor.
“The TIPA team is so very grateful to Gracie Gonzalez for her efforts and contributions to our many activities, meetings, and events. She led by example, and always had a smile on her face,” remarked Dante Galeazzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of TIPA. “Her passing was a grave loss to our organization and the industry. Her passion for produce and immense positive energy was infectious. It is with great honor that we celebrate the life of one of our very own through this event, something I know Gracie herself would have been humbled by.”
Gonzalez worked with the South Texas Onion and Melon Committee, TIPA, and Texas Citrus Mutual since the 1990s. A press release noted that her hard work was part of the behind-the-scenes effort that helped craft the association.
“Gracie was an angel on this earth long before she went to be an angel in Heaven,” former TIPA President and CEO Bret Erickson said. “I had the sheer joy of getting to know Gracie and her family during my time at Texas Citrus Mutual and TIPA. Seldom in this life have I met someone with such class, grace, and kindness. Gracie was a beacon of light wherever she went; she exuded pure love every single day; and was so incredibly dedicated to God, her family, her friends, and colleagues. It is an honor to be able to recognize and acknowledge Gracie’s life through this prestigious Texas produce event.”
Presented by BEBO Distributing and H-E-B, the event tees off on March 30. A portion of this year’s funds will be presented in conjunction with Texas State University to the Hays County Juvenile Detention Center to develop an in-house garden.
The second annual Viva Fresh Winery Tour will consist of three local wine-tasting stops. Sponsored by SunFed, tickets are now available and can be added while registering for the show or by contacting TIPA.
Cheers to another great event!