Wish Farms Teams Up With Florida Strawberry Growers Association, Raises $100,000 for Charity
- by Jordan Okumura
PLANT CITY, FL – Wish Farms has partnered with the Florida Strawberry Growers Association to raise more than $100,000 for the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) at the association’s Strawberry Picking Challenge.
The day-long event featured amateur and professional picking challenges, and included a charity-u-pick event, a strawberry shortcake eating contest, festive activities and games, an appearance by the Florida Strawberry Festival Queen and Court, and performances by singing group N.R.G.
“This has been our best year yet,” said Gary Wishnatzki, Owner of Wish Farms. “The weather was gorgeous and the competition was exciting. We hope that we were able to recognize and bring awareness to our dedicated field workers and farmers, as well as the tremendous support that RCMA gives to the farm worker community.”
The strawberry fundraiser featured 20 teams, each sponsored by a different corporation, competing in an relay-style strawberry picking race. Sponsors include International Paper, Publix, Farm Credit of Central Florida, Amalie Oil, and ATP. Strawberry growers from throughout the state motivated and coached competitors through the challenge.
The Temp Labor team coached by Hector Cruz Jr. was ultimately crowned 2017’s “Best Harvest Crew” and received the Strawberry Joe Trophy.
In addition to the amateur picking challenge, local strawberry growers participated in a professional picking competition. Misael Bautista of Fancy Farms received the highest judge’s score for speed and quality and won a cash prize of $300.
All proceeds from the Strawberry Picking Challenge will benefit the RCMA, a nonprofit that operates childcare centers and charter schools for Florida’s rural poor—particularly the children of farm workers.
Wish Farms is a long-time supporter of RCMA; since the Strawberry Picking Challenge began in 2014, the event has contributed $250,000 to the children of RCMA.
For more on produce companies making a difference and giving back to their local communities, check in with us at AndNowUKnow.