Letter: A ‘Taste’ of excellence

Many thanks for the amazing support for this year’s 16th annual “Taste of Rappahannock.” Headwaters is immensely grateful to all the volunteers, teachers, students, businesses and members of the community who donate time, auction items and service to make this event happen. Without you, it would not be possible! Our community supported this year’s Taste again with record numbers of reservations, attendance and donations. It is impossible to list all the people who help on this event, but we hope you know that your efforts are truly appreciated.

A hearty thank you to Sylvie and Keith Rowand and Laughing Duck Gardens and Cookery for a stellar job of organizing our local food and preparing a spectacular meal. A special thank you to Kurt Streu, chef and culinary-arts instructor at Rappahannock County High School, and all the talented students of the RCHS culinary arts classes who helped with food preparation and set up for the event.

Dayn Smith, Trista Grigsby and Anna Maher contributed hours in culinary preparation. In addition, we had students from the RCHS band program assisting with Jason and Rebekah Giura and Paul Norris. They were: Daniel Schlosser, Davis Sheffield, Jacob Sheffield, Kelsy Parker, Melanie Flores, Gus Norris and Shawn McCullough.

Also thanks to faculty members from both schools, including Elaine Frank, Natalie Hathaway, Linda Way, Kathy Zehr-Rhodes, Vickie Miller, Beth Gall, Brad Weeks, Lisa Jones, Steve Hrabak, Sheila Lamb, Russell Paulette, Jen Rattigan, Dave Naser, Cynthia Volk, Gail Czekaj, Eva Payne, Sandy Gillingham, Alex Coffroth and Alice Jones.

These volunteers exhibited enthusiasm, hard work and professionalism in everything they did. Thank you to Shannon Shaffer and Sarah Gallo who came from Design Cuisine and helped orchestrate the service for the evening. Everyone who volunteered to work at the event contributed to the success of the evening.

A special thank you to Jan and Ron Makela, Rick and Kaye Kohler, and Patti Brennan, who handled the daunting task of check-in and check-out with extraordinary flair. Elizabeth Blubaugh, Dabney Kirchman, Sarah Moore and Paula Howland worked behind the scenes before, during and after the event, making great things happen. Thank you.

Barney O’Meara, Jim Blubaugh, Rick Lessard and Steve Carroll spent weeks preparing the barn for this event; no task was too large for them to accomplish. They are amazing!

Thanks to the following folks for months of planning and hard work: Linda Dietel, Beth Hilscher, Joan Ballard, Sandra Cartwright-Brown, Toni Egger, Susie MacNelly, Jennifer Manly, Laura Overstreet, Susan McCarthy, Heidi Maeyer, Tom and Lisa Pendleton, Kay Miller, Terri Lehman, Cheri and Martin Woodard, Adam Beroza, Cliff Miller, Delma Bagley, Paul Kirchman, Gwen and Ralph Bates, Ray Pullen, Mark Sanborn and Rebecca Thomas and her After-School Dance Troupe. Wow!

Thank you to our Challenge Grant Donors and Underwriters: Mike Leake and Union First Market Bank, Cheri Woodard Realty, Lynn and Joe Horning, Dr. Tom and Cole Johnson, Jennifer Manly, Kathy and Larry Grove, Jay Brown and Kevin Adams, Delma and Jack Bagley, the Greve Foundation, Oak Crest on Red Oak Mountain and Over Jordan Farm.

Our Headwaters board members Kathy Grove, Dot Lessard, Amanda Stephens, Jennifer Aldrich, Todd Endo, Juli MacDonald-Wimbush, David Leive and Ashleigh Cannon-Sharp all worked to make the evening a success. Thanks also to Brittany Dwyer, our guest speaker, Klaire Gubler, Katie Baldwin, Andrew Kopjanski, Shelby Burnett, Maddie Kopjanski and all our student volunteers who handled every task with a smile. Thanks to the Headwaters’ board members and their weekend guests, who came on Sunday to clean up — a testament that volunteerism has no limits.

It was an absolutely outstanding evening, meal and auction. Because of the community’s generosity, the dinner, auction and raffle events were all successful! The proceeds from this once-a-year fundraiser support Headwaters and its programs: Starfish Mentoring/READ, Next Step Career and College Access, Farm-to-Table, Mini-Grants and the After-School Program. The programs directly support the mission of Headwaters, which is to foster educational excellence in Rappahannock County by cultivating the cooperative spirit and resources of the whole community for the benefit of our young people.

Thank you, community!

Jane Bowling-Wilson
Executive Director
Headwaters Foundation

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