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Strawberries Fulfill Charity's Wish: The 6th Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge

Students from RCMA Wimauma Academy

Wish Farms hosted the 6th Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge, benefiting the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA). This year’s presenting sponsor was Monte Packaging Company. This two-day event included a Kick-off Dinner and Strawberry Picking Challenge on the first weekend in February. All proceeds benefited RCMA, an organization that provides quality child care and early education for children of migrant farm workers and rural low-income families.

Friday night’s Kick-Off Dinner was held at TPepin Hospitality Center in Tampa. During cocktail hour, sponsors and guests were able to mingle, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and participate in fundraising activities such as a silent auction, raffle, and wine toss.

Guests purchased raffle tickets for a chance to win a $250 Publix gift card and a Big Green Egg grill.

The farm table and wine barrels were donated by Keel and Curley Winery.

During dinner, guests were able to participate in a live auction that included a private catered dinner, four tickets to the Masters along with a private jet transport, a deluxe golf weekend at the Omni Homestead, and a fishing charter for 6 guests. At the conclusion of dinner, Cory Kahaney, a highly acclaimed comedienne, entertained guests with a comedy set. Upon departure each couple received a flat of delicious strawberries from Wish Farms with a handmade thank you not from a RCMA student!

The following day at Fancy Farms, the Strawberry Picking Challenge was filled with fun, friendly competition, and lots of strawberries! Over 2,500 attendees enjoyed activities that included face painting, a balloon artist, a strawberry shortcake eating contest, Lego station, and a building workshop hosted by Home Depot. Lupton's Catering provided a delicous BBQ lunch to the sponsors and their guests. Live entertainment included high-energy music from Celebrations 24 and musical performances by local group N.R.G., "Next Radical Generation." Guests were also able to mpeet and greet Miss Berry and the Strawberry Festival Queen and her court!

Of course, the star activity of the day was strawberry picking.

The charity U-pick was open to the public and the rows were filled with people throughout the day, picking as many strawberries as they could carry.

The competition was fierce for the Strawberry Picking Challenge which consisted of three separate heats and a finalist round. Local strawberry growers nominated their best harvesters to compete in the pro picker category for a cash prize.

Congratulations to the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association for winning the 2019 Strawberry Picking Challenge and the coveted Strawberry Joe Trophy.

Thanks to Wish Farms for another year of collaboration and all the sponsors that contributed to making the Strawberry Picking Challenge a great success!


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