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Westfield State University hosts fourth annual farm-to-table fundraising dinner

The Westfield State University Department of Communication will host a farm-to-table dinner on Sunday, August 25, from 5 to 8 p.m. on the grounds of the Horace Mann Center located at 333 Western Avenue in Westfield.

Titled “Dinner at Henry’s Garden,” the event honors the late Dr. Henry Wefing, professor emeritus of communication, who served the University for 30 years. Proceeds will benefit the Henry Wefing Journalism Scholarship, which has been awarded annually since 2016.

The menu will feature locally-sourced ingredients. Menu options include roast beef with arugula, wild mushroom polenta, goat cheese and strawberry crostini, and smoked salmon for appetizers; a vegetarian option or grilled barbecue chicken with vegetable and salad options for dinner; and summer plum upside down cake for dessert.

Diners will be seated for dinner next to the garden Dr. Wefing planted in 2007. He used to donate the produce to the Westfield Food Pantry. Today, the garden is maintained by volunteers, including faculty, staff and students.

For the event, MassLive is the chef's table sponsor, Jerome’s Party Plus/Taylor Rental is the music sponsor and The Westfield News and Pennysaver are the beverage table sponsors. The event will feature food prepared by Westfield State Dining Executive Chef Mary Reilly, a gold medalist in a 2018 American Culinary Federation-sanctioned culinary competition. She is a frequent guest on WWLP’s Mass Appeal, the former publisher of Edible Pioneer Valley and the co-author of Home Sausage Making (Storey Press, 2017). A portion of the dinner will be prepared outside on site and Reilly will be available to meet guests, answer questions, and discuss the food and the importance of using locally-sourced ingredients.

The event aligns with the University’s commitment to provide local, sustainable food to its campus community. In 2016, Westfield State launched a self-operating dining services system based on a farm-to-fork model. Today, Westfield State Dining partners with more than 30 local farmers and food producers.

Dinner tickets are $60 and must be purchased in advance, as seating is limited and the event has sold out each year. To purchase tickets or view the full menu, visit www.westfieldalumni.org/henrysgarden. For more information or to discuss dietary needs, contact Suzanne Boniface, adjunct professor of communication at 413-478-2652 or sboniface@westfield.ma.edu.

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