Foodlink honors Wegmans’ Mary Ellen Burris, WDKX at return of The Get Together

The Get Together returned to Foodlink’s front lawn last week.

The “annual” spring event launched in 2019, but was canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. It was a scaled back affair this year compared to the 300+ person gathering for the inaugural event. This time, about 150 friends and supporters — so-called “Lightmakers” — attended the Thursday evening cocktail hour.

The event’s theme drew inspiration from a book — Karen Walrond’s The Lightmakers Manifesto. President and CEO Julia Tedesco reflected on the theme during her remarks:

Walrond emphasizes the importance of celebration and joy. “Celebration,” she writes, “helps us cement the purpose and meaning in the critical work that we do. Joy and meaning are intertwined. Where we create or foster one – the other follows. This celebration tonight – all of us gathered under this tent, sharing our stories, and good food and drinks –  this is not an escape or a distraction from our work – but in fact, part of the fuel we need to continue to pursue the Foodlink mission.”

Aside from 10 “Lightmakers” honored during the event, Foodlink presented two larger awards: The Thomas C. Ferraro Legacy Award and the Community Impact Award.

Thomas C. Ferraro Legacy Award: Mary Ellen Burris, Wegmans

From COO/CFO Terra Keller:

“Mary Ellen Burris was instrumental in bringing Foodlink and Wegmans together 40 years ago in a one-of-a-kind partnership to address hunger. A partnership that has not only persisted, but has deepened over the last 4 decades … Mary Ellen helped to spearhead a charitable food donation model that would grow to support 45 food banks across 7 states, and become a model across the nation.”

Community Impact Award: Andre Marcel, WDKX

From Chief Partnerships Officer, Mitch Gruber:

“… When the pandemic hit and we had to completely pivot and start doing community “drive-through” distributions, WDKX consistently got the word out. They have the ear of the community. Our work doesn’t matter if the community doesn’t know about it. That’s why we are so grateful to WDKX and are presenting them with this award.”

 

 

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