United Way's Battle of the Growers Sparks Friendly Industry Competition
KINGSVILLE, ON - United Way of Windsor-Essex pulled out all the stops this year with its annual Battle of the Growers. The event, which took place Friday, June 21, 2019, brought together guests from the region for a fundraiser that wowed with mouth-watering dishes created by teams of Essex County growers, chefs, and wineries. All funds raised support the On Track to Success Program in Leamington, Ontario.
“We wanted to create an event that wasn't your traditional sit-down dinner and raffle, and we also wanted every element of the event to support our community. And who doesn’t like a bit of friendly competition?” Caitlyne Johns, a member of the Battle of the Growers Committee and Inside Sales Manager at Biobest North America, shared. “The business owners in Leamington and Kingsville are extremely passionate about community involvement and we knew right away this was a cause they would get behind.”
“After all, the students of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” Ashley Bailey, a member of the Battle of the Growers Committee and administration at Ashley Gardens, added.
The honors of the night went to:
Overall Winner: Red Sun Farms
Red Sun Farms' dish was created by Brandon Zeuch and Luke Soulliere from The Grove Brewhouse, with Red Sun Farms’ Sweetpops and Sweetpeps, dubbed “Piggy Pepper Poppers,” paired with the 2018 Red Sky at Night by Crew Winery.
People's Choice: JC Fresh Farms, Wolfhead Distillery, Oxley Estate Winery.
Danielle Moldovan of United Way Windsor-Essex was looking to create an event to raise funds for the On Track to Success Program in the Essex County. A group of women passionate about elevating students out of intergenerational poverty in their community came together to create the Battle of the Growers committee.
“The members of the Battle of the Growers planning committee are passionate about supporting the next generation and elevating the On Track to Success students to meet their potential,” Danielle said. “Economic disadvantages can discourage students and often they just need a support system of people who believe in them. The students that are a part of this program are thriving. This year, the first cohort of On Track to Success students graduated high school and most are moving onto post-secondary or trade in the fall.”
United Way’s On Track to Success program offers support to help kids graduate high school and go on to trade or post-secondary education—the clearest pathway to a life of prosperity. It is a student achievement program that also supports students in building skills and networks to help them be successful in the modern job economy.
Six culinary teams mentored the On Track to Success students and competed to create delicious dishes that were voted on by a panel of mystery judges.
Congrats who all who participated in the great cause and for the students who will see the fruits of this amazing event!