Congratulations to this year's Battle of the Growers Champions:
Double Diamond Farms, Smashed Apple Catering, and Pelee Island Winery
The second annual BATTLE OF THE GROWERS, presented by Libro Credit Union, is a friendly competition event that supports United Way’s On Track to Success program in Leamington. There were five local teams made up of local growers, wineries and chefs competing from across Essex County, highlighting the incredible culinary culture of our region. The event was held on Friday, June 22 at Pelee Island Winery.
The chef from each team worked with their grower teammate to decide how to feature the produce in a small plate appetizer of his or her own creation, and the winery suggested the wine pairing to be served along with the small plate appetizer. Prepared onsite, each team served their dish to 250 guests.
The ON TRACK TO SUCCESS program offers supports that wrap around a family and help kids graduate high school and go on to post-secondary education – the clearest pathway to a life of prosperity. ON TRACK TO SUCCESS is a student achievement program that also supports students in building skills and networks to help them be successful in the modern job economy.
Students enrolled in the program will have the chance to earn up to $4,000 for post-secondary education, as well as access to services including tutoring, social and recreational activities, chances to volunteer in the community, career building and mentoring opportunities, and individualized support.
The program has been in operation for three years in Leamington and now supports 39 students in grades 9 to 11, with plans to bring on more in September. There are 24 more students enrolled in the program at the West Windsor site. It costs $6,000 per year per student, or about $120,000 to support a full cohort of 20 students.
This event is United Way's opportunity to ask the community to show their local love by supporting students living right here in their community.
Dollars are still coming in but so far this year, $43,000 has been raised through this event to help support the next 10 new students in the Leamington program. Donations are welcome, and people are also encouraged to consider getting involved and volunteering their time and talent as a mentor or a tutor.
This year's winning dish was the Fried Green Tomato B.L.T.
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