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Westfield State holds second annual farm-to-table fundraiser dinner

August 8, 2017

Laura Phelon

WESTFIELD—The Westfield State University Department of Communication, in partnership with the Division of Institutional Advancement, will hold a farm-to-table dinner in honor of the late Dr. Henry Wefing, professor emeritus of Communication. The event will be held on Sunday, August 20, from 5 to 8 p.m. on the grounds of the Horace Mann Center.

Wefing served as a professor at Westfield State for 30 years. The dinner honors both his commitment to Westfield State students and his passion for organic and locally grown food. The event’s proceeds will benefit a journalism scholarship established in his honor.

“The scholarship supports Westfield State University’s commitment to graduate future journalists who embrace the values of fairness, accuracy, and good storytelling that were taught by Professor Wefing,” said Dr. Tom Gardner, professor of communication. Gardner said that there are plans to increase the number of scholarships awarded as the fund grows.
The menu will feature locally-sourced ingredients.  Menu options include beet-cured salmon on Westfield seeded bread and miso-ginger meatballs with house-pick vegetables for appetizers; herb-grilled chicken, and grilled corn with feta, herbs, and cream for dinner; and summer berry tart with honey cream for dessert among other selections.
Diners can enjoy relaxing music by Westfield State alumnus Tyler Cook ’16 while sitting at a long table located next to the garden Wefing planted in 2007. When he cared for the garden, Wefing donated all the garden’s bounty to the Westfield Food Pantry. The garden is now tended to by volunteers, including Westfield State faculty, staff, and students, who are committed to keeping Wefing’s legacy alive.

Wefing began teaching at Westfield State University in 1985. Prior to his passing in 2015, he taught in the Communication Department, specializing in journalism and writing courses. The Henry Wefing Journalism Scholarship has been awarded annually since 2016.

At the Aug. 20 event, food will be prepared by Westfield State University Executive Chef Mary Reilly and Catering Chef Simeon Bittman. A portion of the dinner will be prepared outside at the event and both Reilly and Bittman will be onsite to meet the guests, answer questions, and discuss the food and the importance of using locally sourced ingredients.

The event aligns with the university’s mission to provide local, sustainable food to its campus community. In 2016, Westfield State launched its own self-operated food services program based on a farm-to-fork model. As a result, Westfield State Dining Services now partners with more than 25 local farmers and food producers.

The farm-to-table dinner is sponsored by The Westfield News Group. Tickets are $45 and must be purchased in advance as space is limited and last year’s dinner sold out quickly. Purchase tickets or view the full menu.

Contact Suzanne Boniface, adjunct professor of communication, at 413-478-2652 or for more information or to discuss special dietary needs.

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