Capital District Community Gardens Raises $53,000

by Kimberly Hickok

On Thursday, September 26 Mark and I attended Capital District Community Gardens  7th Annual ‘Autumn Evening in the Garden’ gala, which was held at the Franklin Plaza Ballroom in Troy, NY.  The event raised $53,000!

Me with my friend Michele who designed the invitations for the event.

Me with my friend Michele who designed the invitations for the event.


Sixteen of the region’s top chefs prepared culinary samples, which featured fresh meat, produce and dairy donated by 40 local farms. Many of the farmers attended the event and Mark and I got to speak with  several of them.

Capital District Community Gardens Autumn Evening Event - Chefs 2013

Sixteen of our region’s top chefs pose in front of Capital District Community Gardens’ Veggie Mobile – photo by Liz Lajeunesse.

CDCG’s Veggie Mobile and Sprout were open for business during the event and many guests enjoyed seeing the produce varieties that the traveling markets make available to inner-city residents on a daily basis.  Two summers ago I had the opportunity to ride along on the Veggie Mobile and got to see firsthand what one of its stops is like. We even made a video of our experience.

One of the things that Mark and I enjoy about the event (in addition to the wonderful food and beverages) is the wide cross section of the community that attends. This year CDCG hosted 300 guests, including Assemblyman John T. McDonald III, Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino, Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia, Altamont Mayor James Gaughan and Troy Councilmembers Bob Doherty, Kevin McGrath, Nina Nichols and Rodney Wiltshire. 

The $53,000 marks a 19% increase from the amount raised at last year’s fundraiser. Dollars will be used to fund 49 Community Gardens, The Veggie Mobile, The Produce Project, The Healthy Convenience Store Initiative, Squash Hunger and the non-profit’s other programs, all of which increase access to fresh, affordable food in our region’s underserved neighborhoods.

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Funds Raised at this event will support Eight Programs that Nourish 125,000 Residents with 333 Tons of Fresh Produce Each Year


Chef Larry Schepici of Jack’s Oyster House Photo by Liz Lajeunesse

Chef Larry Schepici of Jack’s Oyster House
Photo by Liz Lajeunesse

“This event celebrates the local flavors that are nourishing thousands of residents throughout our region,” said CDCG’s Executive Director, Amy Klein. “Our annual gala provides an opportunity for our supporters, the farmers we partner with, our staff and the students we involve in our work to shake hands with one another. It is wonderful to show our appreciation for our partners and supporters and to see our guests bring home even more enthusiasm for fresh, local food.”


Capital District Community Gardens is a 38-year-old nonprofit organization that nourishes healthy communities with nearly 50 Community Gardens, The Veggie Mobile, The Healthy Convenience Store Initiative, The Produce Project, Squash Hunger and more. 

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