Thanks to dozens of volunteers, hundreds of attendees, farmers, tabling organizations, sponsors and donors, and many others, our second annual Strengthening Local Economies, Everywhere gathering was a huge success! Despite the last-minute date change, the event was very well attended. During the fair, Washington wine, beers, oysters and appetizers were served while over 50 organizations shared information with the public. Nearly 400 guests attended the dinner. Over 70 kind, hard-working volunteers such as yourself came together to orchestrate this terrific event. We feel fortunate to be able to share a vision of a sustainable economy where all of us, from local farmers and small business owners to informed community members, play an integral role.
The delicious dinner was made entirely from produce donated by local farmers and restaurants that use locally grown produce, as well as local fish and food from Portage Bay Café. Diners enjoyed discussions during the meal, which was prepared, as you well know, by our wonderful volunteer chefs, led by Travis English, and served family style. The keynote by Carlos Marentes of Via Campesina and Committee for Immigration Reform and Social Justice was powerful and thought-provoking- look for it on our website soon! We were privileged to have 50 honorary food producer guests at the dinner tables. CAGJ encouraged everyone to become members, or to renew, and to take action to strengthen local economies everywhere. We were also able to share CAGJ’s 3 new programs with guests: the Food Justice Project, AGRA Watch, and the Trade Justice Project.
This year’s silent auction contained over 15 packages with terrific items from garden makeovers to worm bins to gift certificates to local restaurants, and the event closed with an awesome dessert auction! Overall the event raised much-needed funds to help cover expenses and continue working on our three main projects. Most importantly, CAGJ members have been re-energized, and a core group of dedicated volunteers are eager to continue organizing for food and trade justice. We hope you consider yourself one of the energized CAGJ supporters who is ready to engage in change for the better!
We are already thinking ahead to next year’s dinner, searching for an ideal location with great sound and a warm atmosphere. Thanks to the support of organizations and people like you, the event was successful not only economically, but also in that we continued to create a sense of community with a shared vision of a sustainable lifestyle that supports the environment and ourselves.
Check back soon for more pictures from the event!