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Posted by Jack Shitama ● Wed, Oct 23, 2013 @ 08:10 AM

Pecometh Fundraising Recap--A Team Effort

St Francis Wall Hanging resized 600

Pecometh was founded in 1946. In its nearly seven decades thousands of people have attended camp, been on retreat, volunteered and worked on staff. It doesn’t take long before Pecometh gets in your blood. Once it does, it never leaves. As we say, a lifetime at Pecometh.

The latter part of the year is our fundraising season and it takes way more effort than our staff can handle on their own. Thanks to the many volunteers, participants, sponsors and donors, who made it successful. Here’s the recap.

Farm to Table Dinner

Our Chef, Chris Shultz, and his brother Matt grew up with the love of farming. They’ve been expressing that passion for several years with their own sustainable garden. When Chris came to Pecometh, they asked if they could start a sustainable garden at Pecometh to help supply our food service operation. We felt it fit in with our strategy to teach students and adults about Creation Care. You can read all about our garden on this blog post.

This past August, Chris and Matt put together a Farm to Table dinner to help raise money for the garden. Over 50 persons participated, enjoying locally produced cheeses and meats, as well as vegetables from our garden. The menu: a caprese salad with tomatoes and basil from the garden, as well as local mozzarella; pumpkin mushroom soup featuring Kennett Square shitakes and portabellas; braised pork belly from a locally raised pig; grilled rockfish (caught by Chris and friends using a charter trip purchased at the 2012 auction dinner) with sweet corn and collard greens; and a deconstructed peach cobbler of local peaches and ice cream.

The dinner raised $1400 for our garden. Part of that money was used to help send Chris to the International Farm to Table Symposium in New Orleans. The garden is truly a team effort. Close to 100 volunteers have been involved in getting it up and running, keeping it maintained and helping to serve the Farm to Table dinner.

Auction Dinner

When Dana Squares arrived as our Development Assistant in July of 2012, her first assignment was to pull off our inaugural Auction Dinner that October. She did a great job and barely managed to maintain her sanity. This year she was all over it. She organized volunteers, solicited donations, streamlined procedures and generally had her act together for all of us. On October 6, her guidance, the efforts of board members and volunteers, the donations of over 70 individuals and businesses and the generous bidding of the 76 attendees resulted in net proceeds of over $10,000 for Pecometh. Check out the list of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

Chef Chris did his usual amazing job, highlighted by a butternut squash risotto with bay scallops and a braised pork (locally-sourced) papperdelle with mushrooms, peas and thyme. He sweetened the bidding with dessert during the live auction that featured his signature coconut macaroons and pastry puffs with sweet potato filling. Don’t you wish you were there?

The highlight of the evening was the bidding on the last item, which was a custom wall-hanging of the St. Francis statue in front of The Riverview Retreat Center (shown above). This is the fifth wall-hanging that Ruth Oatman of Newark UMC has donated to Pecometh for fundraising purposes. In attendance at the Auction Dinner were the three people who had purchased at least one of the other four. The bidding was furious. The winning bid was $1,000 and the bidder wasn’t one of the original three. It was a great end to a great evening.

Team Pecometh at the Baltimore Running Festival

No, our fundraising efforts don’t always involve food. In fact, Team Pecometh is about burning calories, not packing them on. This is the third year that we’ve run in the Baltimore Running Festival to raise money for Pecometh. Runners love to run and Pecometh people love to help Pecometh. The running festival is always the second Saturday in October and this year the weather held out just enough for everybody to get their runs in. To-date, we’ve raised over $3,000 and that number is still going up.

This year we had a marathon relay team of Augie Lankford, Meredith Lloyd, Kelly Rampmeyer (all former staff) and myself. This was also the second year for Team Segar—Tom, Sue, Mike and Samantha. Mike and Sam have been long-time campers and Mike worked on summer staff this past year. They decided that running the 5k together as a family was a great way to show their love and support for Pecometh. Plus they, like our relay team, got the 2013 Team Pecometh tech shirt. The only way to get one is to join the team.

We’re grateful for all of the people who love Pecometh and that they show that love with their time, talents and treasure.

Topics: Sustainable Garden, Supporting Pecometh, Transforming the World