Orchard continues fundraiser for township group
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J. — On a humid summer evening, Pam and Gary Mount, with their daughters grandkids and staff at Terhune Orchards, held their annual fundraising event for Sustainable Lawrence, an organization of concerned citizens who believe in recycling, conservation of soils, protection of the air, waterways, and well as practices like mass transit, car pooling, bicycle paths and solar panels.
The non-profit organization was started by Pam Mount, who has twice been Mayor of Lawrence Township since 2000.
The Sustainable Lawrence program she and others co-founded has served as a model for dozens of other communities around the state.
Lawrence Township is sandwiched in between Princeton and Trenton.
The crowd of about 120 patrons were addressed several times by owners Gary and Pam Mount.
Gary Mount introduced his daughters, Reuwai and Tannwen, in his welcoming remarks while telling the crowd “we have lots of good things for you to eat tonight, and with each course we’re serving one of our Terhune Orchards’ wines.”
In spite of the threat of thunderstorms in the area, the gala was held in a big red barn that could seat about 150 people.
“We’re thrilled to be able to have you help us raise money for Sustainable Lawrence and the Sustainable Mercer Coalition,” Pam Mount said. “We know that people can individually make a difference, this farm was a wreck when we first came here,” she stressed, “so communicate and connect with your community, and join Sustainable Lawrence.”
Gary Mount illustrated the necessity for patience that is needed in making good wines, noting it was until 2010 — six years after he’d acquired land to grow grapes — that he and his staffers were able to sell wine at Terhune Orchards.
Mount introduced coordinating chef Larry Robinson from the Kingston-based Terra Momo Restaurant Group, and Robinson in turn brought up his team of chefs involved in preparing the appetizers and dinner, to thunderous applause.
“When I see a group of people together like this, coming here and working with Pam and Gary always brings me back into my lane,” Robinson told the crowd. “I get to see you enjoying yourselves, and realize of course that sustainability begins with each of us: it’s about community and understanding that it takes a village.”
“This entire barn is the village here tonight,” Robinson stressed, before adding, “when I come here and I see Gary’s daughters and grand kids here, I can see the future for this place is solid.”
“We thank you for coming and my understanding is we’re about to run out of room here in the barn,” Robinson said, “so next year’s tickets are going to be $400.”
Patrons donated $150 per couple for the dinner.
In her closing remarks, Pam Mount noted that Terhune Orchards has “200 acres of preserved land here, but we also have 250,000 other acres of preserved farm land elsewhere in New Jersey, so we’ll all be producing fruits and vegetables for many generations, and we’ll figure out how to fix whatever issues there are, because you all will demand it.”
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