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.
The 21st annual AON Step Up for Kids event is right around the corner! Each year, we call upon our Produce Alliance family to get involved and make the climb to make a difference.
On January 28, 2018, Step Up for Kids participants will climb 80 floors to the top of the Aon Center, one of Chicago's tallest buildings, to raise funds for the well-being of patients and families at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
This year, we were lucky enough to further our partnership with Lurie Children’s and hear the incredible story of one very special former patient.
On December 7th 2017, Chef Steph, Produce Alliance/Ruby Robinson’s corporate chef, joined Chauncy Hood, a high school senior, heart transplant survivor, aspiring chef and restaurant owner, and overall incredible human being, putting on a one-of-kind culinary demonstration in the PA test kitchen.
While putting the finishing touches on delicious dishes, Chef Steph and Chef Chauncy shared their kitchen knowledge and passions with an attentive audience. Chef Chauncy described his experiences in the Lurie Children's Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) and how he was able to use his culinary dreams to stay focused while waiting for a donor heart to become available.
Chef Chauncy also stayed busy during his hospital stay by writing down his favorite recipes so he wouldn’t forget them. Ultimately, the collection of recipes was published as a limited edition book,“Chauncy Show You the Chops,” which he gave for donations from his hospital room to help other patients.
In August 2017, great news arrived for Chef Chauncy and his family as a heart became available and he was able to undergo successful transplant surgery.
Thank you so very much to Chef Chauncy, his family, and group of nurses for joining us at this special event. It’s stories and children like Chauncy that are the reason that we support Lurie Children's Hospital and participate in the Step Up For Kids event every year.
Cooking is a great way to express your creativity," says Chauncy Hood, a high school senior with a passion for cooking and dreams of opening his own fine dining restaurant. Those dreams helped Chauncy stay focused during the three months he spent in Lurie Children's Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) waiting for a donor heart to become available. Finally in August, a heart became available, and he underwent successful transplant surgery.
Enjoy this one-of-kind culinary demonstration and collaboration featuring Produce Alliance's very own Corporate Chef Steph, and Chef Chauncy, a resilient heart transplant survivor. Produce Alliance & the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital team up to support Step Up for Kids in event to build healthier futures for kids, like Chauncy
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.