Letter: An excellent ‘Taste’ 

Many thanks to all our community for your amazing support of this year’s 17th annual Taste of Rappahannock! Headwaters is immensely grateful to all the volunteers, teachers, students and businesses who donated 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 their months of planning and hard work: Delma Bagley, Liz Blubaugh, Ashleigh Cannon Sharp, Steve Carroll, Sandra Cartwright-Brown, Linda Dietel, Elaine Frank, Kat Habib, Fran Krebser, Dorothy Lessard, Rick Lessard, Susie MacNelly, Jennifer Manly, Sarah Moore, Barney O’Meara, Sylvie Rowand, Karen Sanborn and Kurt Streu, with special appreciation for the oversight by Liz Blubaugh and Dot Lessard, and for the “can-do” attitude of Barney O’Meara and Steve Carroll, our set-up/take-down crew. The Rappahannock Lions Club and the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department performed set-up and take-down tasks. Thank you!

A special thank you goes to READ/math tutoring director Elizabeth Blubaugh, Next Step director Kathryn Habib, After-School program manager Dabney Kirchman, Farm-to-Table coordinator Sarah Moore and Starfish Mentoring manager Anne Simon, who all worked behind the scenes before, during and after the event, making great things happen.

Thank you to Mount Vernon Farm and Cliff and Lucille Miller, for sharing their beautiful spot in Rappahannock County, and to Patti Brennan, Julie Faloon, Terri Kilby, Rick and Kaye Kohler, Jan and Ron Makela, and Jeff and Barney Riley, who handled the daunting task of “check-in” with extraordinary flair. Band students Melanie Flores, Caragh Heverly, Skye Kirchman, Macy Montgomery, Kelsey Parker, Jacob Sheffield and Zach Winkworth (under the direction of band teacher Jason Guira) assisted with parking the more than 200 guests. 

We thank the owners of Chester Gap Cellars, Barboursville Vineyard, Gadino Cellars, Glen Manor, Linden, Narmada, Rappahannock Cellars and Wasmund’s Distillery for participating in our event, and Kevin Kraditor from Hopkins Ordinary for orchestrating our table wine.

Students Katie Baldwin, Klaire Gubler, Andrew Kopjanski, Jane Purnell and Julia Wood circulated during the silent auction and assisted with the event. Thank you to our fire marshals — Dave Naser, Paul Kirchman, Steve Paull and Mark Sanborn. Thanks also to Morningside Nursery for creating our plantings in our student flower pots.

For our excellent meal we thank Sylvie Rowand of Laughing Duck Gardens and Cookery and Keith Rowand, high school culinary chef Kurt Streu and the students of the Rappahannock County High School culinary arts classes (Claudia Barnes, Carter Boldridge, Walter Burke, Parker Critzer, Jake Demory, Adrianna Flores, Edwin Garcia, Alec Gomer, Brianna Heggan, Aynsley Lohr, Megan Neibert, Mickayla Neibert, A.J. Palmer, Nathan Strother, Caryl-Anne Taplin and Tyler Whetzel), who helped with much of the food preparation and set up for the event, along with RCES cafeteria staff member Sue Atkins, Julia Banks and Jennifer Gray.

Our guests also enjoyed contributions from the Country Café, the Flint Hill Public House, Goat Hill Farm, Griffin Tavern, Thornton River Grill Catering, Triple Oak Bakery and Tula’s off Main. We thank RCPS faculty members and friends from both schools for assisting us, including Sharon Bailey, Alex Coffroth, Gail Czekaj, Traci and Kevin Dippert, Elaine Frank, Sandy Gillingham, Amy Gubler, Steve Hrabak, Lisa and Bryce Jones, Kathy McNitt, David Naser, Samantha Pickett, James Sharpe, Karen Sanborn and Cynthia Volk.

The beautiful flowers throughout the dining room came from the gardens of Martin and Cheri Woodard. Thanks to Belle Ridge Farm, Heritage Hollow Farms, Belle Meade Farm, Jenkins Orchard, Roy’s Orchard, Lee’s Orchard, Moore’s Orchard, Williams Orchard, Waterpenny Farm, the Farm at Sunnyside, Crowfoot Farm and Laughing Duck Gardens for donating food.

RCHS grad Brittany Dwyer and RCES student Austin Cox wowed the audience with their remarks during dinner, through sound equipment provided by Paul Reisler. Thank you!

All the members of the Headwaters Board of Directors pitched in. Thank you, Jennifer Aldrich, Ralph Bates, Ashleigh Cannon Sharp, Sherry Cillo, Judy DeSarno, Todd Endo, David Leive, Dot Lessard, Juli MacDonald-Wimbush and Amanda Stephens.

And these community members and family members contributed work and expertise: Neal Adkins, Kim Baader-Kilby, Jim, Ian and Lea Blubaugh, Rachel Bynum, Rosa Crocker, Chris Doxzen, Mimi Forbes, Larry Grove, Keith Rowand, Donna Matthews, Susan McCarthy, Kevin McCloskey, Tanya Paull, Hans Gerhard, Hal Hunter, Anita Raiford and Lucas Wilson. 

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: After-School Enrichment, 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, 80 donors had given to the Taste of Rappahannock, and 50 individuals, numerous farms and businesses contributed goods. Added to the 240 names and businesses here, 370 groups and individuals made this evening a success. Thank you, Rappahannock County for supporting your children!

Jane Bowling-Wilson
Headwaters executive director

Kathleen F. Grove
Chair, Headwaters board of directors

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