Last night's FRESH! Gala attracted residents from all over New York State and the likes of Assemblyman Bill MaGee, Sen. Dave Valesky and town supervisors from across the county.
The Lavelle family of Cazenovia hosted the evening event at heir home on Brick Farm off Rathbun Road. The family has lived on the farm for about a year, while their previous farm is up for sale in New Woodstock.
The gala was held in the Lavelles' barn where wood chips were put down and beams were adorned with corn stalks and strings of lights. About 175 guests attended the event that was sponsored by Cazenovia Equipment and Price Chopper while Persaud Marketing Agency conceptualized, developed and produced the event
Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse provided the frosty beverages while the event was catered by Chef Sean O'Brien of Serendipity Catering with the help of fresh farm products. Guests listened to the tunes of the Julie Falatico Trio out of Utica as they participated in a silent auction.
While buying local and spending local is a key component to the way of life for the Brian and Nikki Lavelle and their six children, it was quite an honor and a task to take on the challenge of hosting the first ever FRESH! Gala.
"It's exciting to host the first one," said Nikki. "The Madison County Agricultural Economic Development Agency thought we had the space to host the gala and that everyone attending would feel comfortable."
The gala came into full-wing during a six-month period of planning.
"It's been a tough week," Brian said. "But it's great, there is a lot of extra traffic through the farm thanks to having the gala here."
The family farm
The family exclusively raises about 3,000 hens that produce about 50 dozen eggs per day. The eggs are sold in several P&C grocery stores in Central New York and they fly off the shelf, Nikki said. Making their name well-known, the family has their personal story inside each package of Lady Lavelle Brick Farm eggs.