New fundraiser brings table to the farm to help feed our community
The fall weather came just in time for the inaugural Community Table held last Saturday, Oct. 5 at Cramer Farm in Howard, Pa. The event was a fundraiser for the Community Cafe at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and featured food by Chef Zach Lorber and his Culinary Arts students from the State College Area High School.
Between advance ticket sales and a live auction, the event raised $3,500 for the Community Cafe, which serves a free meal each Thursday.
“Each week we receive donations from Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Cramer Farm and others in the community, but it still takes money to be able to do what we do,” said Ron Rovansek, executive director of the Community Cafe. “We’re so grateful for the support of this community, and we hope you come out to join us for food and fellowship any Thursday from 5-7.”
The event featured music by strolling musicians Papa and Picker, beer donated by Robin Hood Brewing Co. and a menu of heavy hors d’oeuvres made with food donated mainly by the Cramers.
“It was such an amazing opportunity for my students to learn, first hand, about true farm to table dining,” said Lorber. “The Cramers have awesome produce, pork, chicken, and eggs. Knowing them, personally, and serving the meal on their farm, pushed us to work harder to honor the ingredients and utilize every bit, including pork liver and trotters. As a teacher, I am filled with pride watching my students grow, learn, and succeed.”
The Cuban sandwiches with housemade mustard and ham cured by Lorber and his students were a guest favorite, as was the cabbage strudel and vegetable steamed dumplings.
Charity auctioneer Daniel Foster led the live auction, leading with a statement about all the donations that went into making the event happen.
“If we want to live in a Happy Valley, that happiness has to be accessible by everyone,” he said. “For that to happen, it takes each member of our community giving of themselves and investing themselves into creating the community we want. This event is a simple example of that: everyone giving time to help our community have an opportunity for the most basic act of happiness: a good meal.”
The event’s guests were indeed happy, perhaps the hosts most of all. “The evening was somewhere between amazing and incredible,” said Bruce Cramer. “We would be honored to host a Community Table to support the Community Cafe again next year.”
Provisions helped to organize the event, the first in their two-year series of farm-to-table events that has been a fundraiser.
“We loved working together with these groups to put on this fabulous dinner,” said editor in chief Maggie Anderson, “and we’re glad to know that this one dinner means many more for the Community Cafe.”
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