A heart-warming ‘Taste’

Many thanks to all our community for your amazing support of this year’s 19th annual Taste of Rappahannock! Headwaters is immensely grateful to all the volunteers, teachers, students, and businesses who donate time, auction items and service to make this event happen. Without you, it would not be possible.

Thanks go out to the following committee members for months of planning and hard work: Steve Carroll, Brittany Dwyer, Kat Habib, Emily Harris, Lacey Jenkins, Dot Lessard, Rick Lessard, Barney O’Meara,Tanya Paull, Sylvie Rowand, Amanda Stephens and Kurt Streu, with special appreciation for the oversight by Rick and Dot Lessard and for the “can-do” attitude of Barney O’Meara and Steve Carroll, our setup/take-down crew. The Rappahannock Lions Club, Thom Pellikaan and Chris Coe loaned us tents for the entrance. Thank you.

A special thank you goes to Dianne Handy, READ tutoring director; Kathryn Habib, Next Step director and After-School Program manager; Sara Moore, Farm-to-Table coordinator; and Anne Simon, Starfish Mentoring manager, who all worked behind the scenes before, during and after the event, making great things happen. Thank you to Mount Vernon Farm, Cliff and Lucile Miller, for sharing their beautiful spot in Rappahannock County, and to Marcie Brandriff, Sherry Cillo, Rick and Kaye Kohler and Jan and Ron Makela who handled the daunting task of “check-in” and check-out with extraordinary flair. Band students (Abigail Berry, Taylor Callahan, Cydney Chambers, Serenity Cortez, Bryce Fryant, Sophia Hernandez, Ninon Kirchman, Skye Kirchman, Macy Montgomery, Taven Murrah, Jackson Norris, Jacob Sheffield) under the direction of RCHS Band teacher Jason Guira, Rebekah Guira and teacher Michael Sheffield, assisted with parking the more than 200 guests.

For the silent auction, Tanya Paull orchestrated the tastings with the owners of Barboursville, DuCard, Gadino, Glen Manor, Gray Ghost, Hopkins Ordinary Ale Works, Linden, Magnolia, Narmada, Pen Druid Brewery, Rappahannock Cellars, Wild Roots Apothecary, and Copper Fox Distillery Distillery (Wasmund’s). Pourers included Adam Beroza, Lydia Brandriff, Kate Cliffton, Sam Cliffton, Sherri Fickel, Mimi Forbes, Emily Harris, Patricia Obregon, Colleen O’Bryant and Jane Wilson. Thank you!

Students circulated during the silent auction (set up by Emily Harris), selling raffle tickets and passing hors d’oeuvres. Safety monitors were RCHS teachers Dave Naser, Mark Sanborn, James Sharpe and Brad Weeks.

For our excellent meal we thank Sylvie Rowand of Laughing Duck Gardens and Cookery, Kurt Streu, culinary teacher and chef at RCHS, and culinary arts students Deana Abdullah, Parker Critzer, Michael Czekaj, Courtney Dodson, Timmy Dowd, Morgan Flanagan, Ryan Grigsby, Jeffrey Grove, Katlyn Haskins. Cyrus Heggan, Courtney Higgins, Jonathan Jenkins, Gabrielle Kelly, Ian Moore, Helaina Posey, J.J. Strobel, Karley Wharton and Ethan Williams, who helped with much of the food preparation, the setup for the event and the serving. Our guests also enjoyed contributions from the Central Coffee Roasters, Flint Hill Public House, Griffin Tavern, Thornton River Grille Catering, Triple Oak Bakery and the Virginia Chutney Company. Assisting Sylvie Rowand were Keith Rowand, Elliott Eaton, Sofie Garcia, Dianne Handy, AnnaMarie Maher, A.J. Palmer, Devin Sherwood, Keenan Sherwood, Anne Simon, Ann Stenner, and Pete Stenner.

We thank RCPS faculty members and friends from both schools for assisting us, including Alex Coffroth, Jennifer Deal, Kelly Estes, Katherine Gangel, Matthew Hummel, Jessica Kelly, Elaine McCabe, Kathy McNitt (service captain), Pud Maeyer (supervisor of students), Vickie Miller, Sarah Moore, Dani Pond, Dawn Roseberry, Karen Sanborn, Katherine Todd, Layne Vickers and Angela White. Students from the National Honor Society assisted throughout the evening: Brooke Atteli, Catherine Deane, Julia Estes, Morgan Flanagan, Drake Lynn, A.J. Palmer, Josh Racer, Galen Sanborn, Nick Strosneider, Tatyana Yates, Mahlet Yonas-Yirgu and Ellie Young.

Belle Meade Farm, Belle Ridge Farm, Crowfoot Farm, Jenkins Orchard, Roy’s Orchard, The Farm at Sunnyside, Thornton River Orchard, Waterpenny Farm, Whiffletree Farm, Williams Orchard and Wit’s End Farm all donated locally raised products.

The beautiful flowers throughout the dining room came from the gardens of Martin and Cheri Woodard and were arranged by a team led by Kat Habib, Kevin MCloskey and Jane Bowling-Wilson.

Cierra Chambers, Mary Washington University student and recent RCHS graduate, and RCES student Maeve Ciuba wowed the audience with their remarks during dinner, through sound equipment procured through Howard Kelly. The students and the auctioneer spoke from a stage built by Barney O’Meara. Thank you!

All the members of the Headwaters board of directors (and their family members) pitched in, filling many roles; thank you Dee Akre, Jennifer Aldrich, Ralph Bates, Sherry Cillo, Bill Dant, Judy DeSarno and Dot Lessard. School board office staff and administrators Donna Matthews, Robin Bolt, Gail Czekaj, Shannon Grimsley, Dawn Phillips, Amy Rogers, Jimmy Swindler, Mike Tupper and Stacey Whitt contributed preparation time and material support, from trash cans to fans and coolers. And these community members contributed additional work and expertise: Gwen Bates, Liz Blubaugh, Rachel Bynum, Larry Grove, Paula Howland, Aline Johnson, Dabney Kirchman, Jodi Milles, Amanda Stephens, Jane Wilson and David Yowell.

To keep the air moving on a hot night, Ron Makela collected and installed fans from Early’s Carpet, Settles’ Auto Sales and Shaw’s Services: thank you. We also thank the Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad for stationing an ambulance close by to address any heat-related illness.

Of course, a big thank you must go to our event benefactors, Chuck and Dee Akre, and all our table sponsors, from Head of the Class, Larry and Kathy Grove, to Salutatorian, John Jacquemin, and our Honor Roll, Avon Hall and Rappahannock Title, The Bagley Group, Matthew and Barbara Black, Lowell and Diane Dodge, Judith Richards Hope, Tom and Cole Johnson, Rick and Dot Lessard, Jennifer Manly, Over Jordan Farm, Thom Pellikaan and Judy DeSarno, Dick and Nancy Raines, Paul Smith and Michael Dennis, Thornton River Grille, Union Bank and Trust, and Cheri Woodard Realty. Partners Megan Abboud, David and Jennifer Aldrich, Ralph and Gwen Bates, Harold Beebout and Mary Frances LeMat, Bill Dant and Daniel Wilson, John and Sally Freeman, James Halpern and Nancy Nord, Larry and Hi Soo Hepinstall, Jane Livingston, Michael and Toni Massie, Kevin McCloskey and Dana Hearn, Charles and Susan Parsons, Dr. Patti McGill Peterson, Jeff Riley, Bob and Olga Ryan and Amanda Stephens and Gary Light round out the list of supporters.

And the “Taste” wouldn’t be the “Taste” without artwork from the MacNelly archives. Thank you, Susie McNelly!

We all enjoyed an outstanding evening, a delicious meal and a successful auction. The proceeds from this once-a-year fundraiser support Headwaters and its programs: the After-School Enrichment Program, Farm-to-Table, Mini-Grants, Next Step, READ/Math tutoring and Starfish Mentoring.  All these 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.

Before the evening began, 78 individuals and businesses contributed goods and products to the Taste of Rappahannock. Added to the 217 names and businesses here, 295 groups and individuals made this evening a success. What an amazing community we have! Thank you, Rappahannock County, for supporting your children!

Kevin Brandriff
Headwaters executive director

Kathleen F. Grove
Chair, Headwaters board of directors

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