Wish Farms raised $75,000 for a farmworker charity during its first Strawberry Picking Challenge.
The Feb. 8 Bright House Networks Strawberry Picking Challenge hosted by Plant City, Fla.-based Wish Farms raised the funds to help the Redlands Christian Migrant Association which helps migrant worker children’s education.
The day-long event also included children’s strawberry picking, a balloon artist, games, music and activities with Radio Disney as well as appearances by the Florida Strawberry Festival queen and court, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders and Wish Farms’ Misty the Garden Pixie.
“The event went well and we are real pleased with how it worked out,” said Gary Wishnatzki, Wish Farms’ president and chief executive officer.
Wishnatzki said he hopes the event succeeded in bringing awareness not only to farmworkers’ hard work but also to the contributions RCMA makes to the farmworkers’ children.
Up to 20 corporate-sponsored teams competed in relays win the “Best Harvest Crew” title.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam led the Fresh from Florida team with other participating crews representing the Maitland-based Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, the Dover-based Florida Strawberry Growers Association, the Riverside, Mich.-based Monte Package Company, the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based International Paper as well as participation from other Florida strawberry growers, according to a news release.
Ed & Barbara Bergmann, coached by Donnie Randall of Plant City-based Fancy Farms, won the top finisher award and the team was recognized for its picking prowess with individual strawberry trophies as well as the contest’s “Strawberry Joe” perpetual trophy, according to the release.
RCMA is an Immokalee, Fla.-based nonprofit organization that runs child care centers and charter schools throughout Florida agricultural regions.