Feb 17, 2016
Strawberry Picking Challenge raises $77,000 for Redlands Christian Migrant Association

The 3rd Annual Bright House Networks Strawberry Picking Challenge, hosted by Wish Farms raised $77,000 for Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA). The fundraising event, held on Feb. 6, featured 18 corporate-sponsored teams who competed in relays to earn the title of “Best Harvest Crew.”

Members of the ATP Logistics team competed in the challenge. Photo: Wish Farms.
Members of the ATP Logistics team competed in the challenge. Photo: Wish Farms.

Some of the crews represented included United Way Suncoast, Monte Package Company, ATP Logistics, International Paper, Florida Strawberry Growers Association and Farm Credit of Central Florida. Strawberry growers from around the state provided picking instructions and served as coaches.

The International Paper team, coached by Philip Stanaland of G&D Farms, was named the top finisher and was awarded the ‘Strawberry Joe’ trophy. In addition to the amateur picking challenge, local strawberry growers nominated their best harvesters to compete in a pro-picking competition. Six professional strawberry harvesters participated. Javier Hernandez, employee of G&D Farms, received the highest judge’s score for quality, winning a $300 cash prize.

Proceeds from the Strawberry Picking Challenge will benefit RCMA, a non-profit organization that operates child-care centers and charter schools for Florida’s rural poor, particularly farm workers’ children. Throughout the state, RCMA operates 70 child-care centers and three charter schools.

Since the event began in 2014, the Strawberry Picking Challenge has donated a total of $150,000 to the children of RCMA.

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