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Heart of Oregon dinner and fundraiser exceeds goal


Just a few Sundays ago, while enjoying Central Oregon’s perfect fall weather, 160 community members came together to both dine on impeccably prepared food and raise funds for local non-profit Heart of Oregon Corps.

The second annual Farm to Fork Dinner & Fundraiser: Sunset at the Green was held at Pronghorn Resort and hosted by Aperion Management Group. The dinner featured farm fresh food, prepared by local chefs and served by Heart of Oregon youth.

Two local chefs, Kevin Linde, Pronghorn Executive Chef, and Corey Whalen, One Street Down Cafe Chef, collaborated on the menu, which featured a ‘snout to tail’ perspective. One hog and many of the side ingredients were purchased from Gigi Meyers of Windflower Farm. Another hog and the processing was donated by Cameron Gunther of Home Farm Foods. The food that the chefs and their teams prepared included delicious items such as Fall Squash Soup with Pepita Seed Brittle and Cider Creme Fraiche and Piggy Skin Chicharrones with Ginger Cider Gastrique.

“It’s really about the youth, and while the food, the location and the overall event are amazing, we’re here to help Heart of Oregon Corps continue to find success,” said Chef Corey Whalen, who donated his time to the event.

The impact of Heart of Oregon Corps through their ‘work, earn, learn’ model was on display throughout the evening when three alumni, Raymond Hendricks, Thyreicia Simtustus and Brittany Charley, eloquently spoke about their personal journey and positive and transformational experience. HOC’s youth servers performed gracefully under pressure and HOC’s alumni table ambassadors bravely networked and shared their incredible stories. Through these personal experiences, guests were able to really see the impact HOC has in the lives of local youth.

HOC’s goal of doubling the amount raised last year ($15,000) was achieved and the total amount raised was over $37,000! This type of support from the community is critical to HOC’s sustainability and successful operations to train tomorrow’s workforce today. Both Heart of Oregon Corps and Aperion Management Group would like to extend the biggest heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated, participated, and attended this year’s Farm to Fork Dinner and look forward to seeing you again next year!

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