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First “Farm-to-Table” event is July 20 at Oak Lane

Event will feature local chefs and food

The Oregon Park District is offering the first ever Farm-to-Table meal on Friday, July 20 at 6 p.m. at Oak Lane, located on Daysville Road, southeast of Oregon.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the park district’s youth scholarship fund. The event will take place at 6 p.m.

Last year, the park district provided $4,296 in scholarship money to help kids participate in youth sports and recreation programs. Scholarship funds involve no tax dollars and are a direct result of fundraisers supported by Oregon Park District Staff and the community.

Recently the Oregon Park District Scholarship Fund received a $5,000 donation from the A. Charles and Lillemore Lawrence Foundation for the Extended Time and Summer Camp program.

This donation has spurred Oregon Park District staff to offer the Farm to Table dinner to match these funds.

“The District utilizes the scholarship fund to provide opportunities for those in our school district who otherwise couldn’t afford to participate in programming,” Oregon Park District Executive Director Erin Folk said. “All money utilized for scholarships has either been raised by the staff or donated by local organizations. The fund is uniquely structured. No property tax revenue is utilized for the scholarships.

“Unfortunately, with the growing needs for scholarship assistance in our community, a higher demand is being placed on the fund resulting in additional fundraising,” Folk said.

Debbie Leffelman, event coordinator, has enlisted various cooks from the Oregon area to prepare food items from produce and meat raised by local growers and farmers.

“Farmers markets have become events with food, music and shopping,” said Leffelman, citing numerous examples, including the conversion of the park district’s farmer’s market in 2017. “The Oregon Farmer’s Market now includes live music, food, vendors and access to downtown merchants on Friday evenings. I wanted to continue to utilize these resources with an event that appeals to foodies and benefits the youth in our community.”

The Farm-to-Table event will include auction items, goods for sale, live music and of course food!

“The biggest part of the Farm to Table evening will be a 4-course meal cooked by the local celebrity chefs,” Leffelman said. “A majority of the products used will be locally grown. People love to eat and our hope is to put together an amazing meal people will enjoy while benefiting the youth of the community.”

Celebrity chefs include Candace Rivera (Hazel’s); Dave and Marilyn Balch (Ralphie & LuLu’s); Erin Dietrich (Dietrich Farms); Jen Koertner (Jen’s Artisan Bread); Joanne Canfield (Canfield Farms); Joyce Rybicki (White Pines Resort); Lisa Marie Ayres (Lincoln Way Inn Bed and Breakfast); Ralf Herrera (Ralfie’s BBQ); and Whitney Canfield (KSB Registered Dietician).

The concept of Farm-to-Table has been around since at least the early 2000s, when consumers started demanding to know where their food came from and how it was being produced. What was once a social experiment, has become a social movement sweeping the country. It is more than a fad.

“Oak Lane has been very generous, offering their beautiful venue to us. A full-service bar will offer drinks for purchase. Wine pairings are included with the four-course meal and ticket price. Tickets are $50 per person or $400 for a reserved table of 8,” said Leffelman.

In addition to the four-course meal, Dina Bach will be entertaining the crowd thanks to the generous sponsorship of Circle G Farms.

Tickets are on sale now and available by phone, 815-732-3101, or at Nash Recreation Center, 304 S. 5th Street, Oregon. A limited number of tickets will be sold for the event.

For more information, contact Debbie Leffelman at Oregon Park District, 815-732-3101.

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