This past year a very special member of the Produce Alliance community passed away. On March 15, 2017 the First Annual Jerry Ambrogi Charity Dinner was held at the Produce Alliance National Conference in order to take the time to remember and celebrate the incredible man he was. Those that spent time speaking to Jerry, learned about his knowledge of produce, love for football, and tremendous heart. It was not until after his passing that we learned of the great impact that he made on his community and his philanthropic efforts.
Some of the causes near and dear to Jerry Ambrogi's heart were Make a Wish Foundation, Archmere Academy (his alam mater), and the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens (DFRC). For the First Annual Charity dinner we selected DFRC as the featured charity. We asked them to tell us what Jerry meant to them, and this was their response:
DFRC was the featured charity for the 2017 First Annual Jerry Ambrogi Charity Dinner. We asked them to tell us what Jerry meant to them and this was their response: For more than 20 years, Jerry Ambrogi was a pillar of love and commitment to the DFRC family, an organization whose mission is to raise funds and awareness for Delawareans with intellectual disABILITIES
Whether it was as a 4-time coach for the DFRC Blue-Gold All Star Football Game, 6 years as the game’s athletics chairperson, or 10 years as the game’s senior advisor, Jerry’s unwavering passion for the program’s beneficiaries was an inspiration to all. As a result of his endless commitment to the cause, Jerry was selected by his coaching peers as head coach of DFRC’s 50th anniversary game in 2005.
As a senior advisor to DFRC, Jerry continually offered valuable advice and guidance. He was a strong advocate of our Hand-In-Hand program, which matches game participants with children and young adults who have an intellectual disability, and supported that love very generously as a major donor throughout his 20 years with DFRC.
As many already know, Jerry had a smile that lit every room he entered, and that sparkle was second only to his enormous heart, which he shared freely and unconditionally. The DFRC family lost one of our dearest and best friends when Jerry passed. His life touched literally thousands of people, young and old, and his legacy will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.
In the philanthropic spirit that Jerry lived by, we at Produce Alliance would like to honor all the efforts and causes each one of you do for your communities.
2016 Holiday Charity Highlights from the Produce Alliance Team!
A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OUR PA MEMBERS FOR CONTRIBUTING YOUR TIME AND CHARITABLE EFFORTS DURING THE HOLIDAYS & THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.
Please take a moment to look at the collection of charitable efforts that our PA Members were a part of in 2016.
Katsiroubas Brothers Wholesale Fruit & Produce put all of their efforts this past year towards The Nick Katsiroubas Foundation which is working to support CureAHC. They are hosting a family symposium in Boston, July of 2017. Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC) is a rare neurological disorder that affects 1 in 1,000,000 children around the world causing paralysis spells and overall complications and delays. CureAHC supports families and funds medical research focused on finding a cure. A dear friend of the Katsiroubas Family suffers from AHC. James Hufnagel is 3 years old and was diagnosed in 2013 with this disease. There is currently no cure or treatment. The Katsiroubas Family stands by our dear pal James as he fights his daily battle with bouts of paralysis and tremendous muscle pain.
The Cure AHC symposium in Boston will be an opportunity for families of AHC and doctors to come together to discuss new therapies, research advancements and provide support. The Foundation would like to make a sizable financial donation to defray costs to families of children with AHC to have the ability to attend the symposium.
Dear Produce Alliance Community,
Today we sadly watch as Hurricane Harvey continues to ravage the residents of the entire Southeast Texas region. As this area continues to suffer under catastrophic and life-threatening flood conditions, we are reaching out to you as members of the Produce Alliance community to help us collaborate with Brent Erenwert (President of Brothers Produce – Houston, one of Produce Alliance’s Member houses), and our own Barbara Hulick, Produce Alliance’s Director of Food Safety, who is also based out of Houston. As they witness first-hand the devastation, displacement and fear that are up-ending their neighborhoods, we’ve asked Barb and Brent to guide us in understanding how we can best provide meaningful help.
Barb and Brent’s real-time updates have shone the light on the specific needs of their communities, which are losing homes, schools, and livelihoods by the hour. As levees are breaking, and families are forced out, Barb and Brent are seeking the best on the ground support for their communities, and have asked for our help. As a result, Produce Alliance is seeking contributions which will be made directly into the communities most impacted by this devastating weather event; Brent and Barbara are providing us with invaluable insight into the community organizations best situated to provide an immediate lifeline to those most deeply displaced.
Please consider making a contribution to this emergency fund by electronic payment to the PA Foundation through the link below. The PA Foundation is Produce Alliance’s charitable foundation created to gather monetary resources and supplies of all types for the purpose of supporting those in need. Produce Alliance and the PA Foundation will continue to work directly with Brent and Barb to establish the best possible local uses for these funds to sustain life and re-structure communities. Please know that all donors will be apprised of a detailed accounting of exactly how these contributions are being put to use to help those in the most imminent need.
Please consider helping in any way you can. As Brent and Barbara can attest, the damage is ongoing and the need is desperate.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Melissa Melshenker Ackerman at (847) 738-2253
THE HOUSTON FOOD BANK REACHES OUT TO THE PRODUCE ALLIANCE NETWORK FOR CRITICAL HELP
The Houston Food Bank has reached out to the entire Produce Alliance network for immediate help. Judy Henrichson, Agriculture Industry Manager of the Houston Food Bank contacted Produce Alliance this afternoon, seeking donations of product and monetary assistance for the 600 agencies it services across Houston and 18 counties in the region. She describes their need as desperate; please read on to see how you can help.
Due to the dire nature of this widespread crisis, Judy has asked that we encourage direct contributions to this organization - http://www.houstonfoodbank.org/get-involved/harvey-disaster-relief/. The Houston Food Bank is a fully accredited 501(c)(3) entity able to provide any documentation needed, including receipts to all donors. Judy has urged us to share this opportunity to donate not only monetary support, but also fresh produce of all kinds. Federal Tax incentives for produce donations have been published by the federal government and can be provided if you need them. Additionally, if you would like assistance with the logistics of getting product to the Houston Food Bank, you can reach out directly
Houston Food Bank
Office: (713) 547- 8673
Direct: (832) 731-9436
President of Brothers Produce
Brent will be available to assist in getting product to Judy and the facilities she manages.
Produce Alliance has been moved to action to support this community based organization and has made a $5,000 direct donation to keep Houston area citizens sustained until conditions improve. While the PA Foundation is still working to combat this crisis, donating to the Houston Food Bank directly is an easy way to get help immediately where it needs to be. We know our PA community is always first in line to help; please consider making a direct donation to this worthwhile organization.
As many have already heard, an enormous and powerful storm swept through Houston, TX and the surrounding region this past week. This sparked a series of catastrophic flooding, serious damages and injuries, and according to the New York Times and National Weather Service, killed at least 13 people.
Unfortunately, those affected included some of our PA family. We will be providing weather and produce updates until further notice.
8/29 Weather Update: It's moving, and is offshore. It won't strengthen much offshore. More heavy rain is ahead. There is an end in sight. River flooding will last for days, perhaps weeks.
Brighter Bites is an organization that provides reliable access to fresh produce, nutrition, education and consistent exposure to recipes.
At our 2017 PA PMA Cocktail Reception, Lisa Helfman, co-founder of Brighter Bites, spoke and gave more insight into the value of service in the community.
PA is excited about playing an integral part in Brighter Bite's end goal of expanding their network beyond the Texas region.