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Alcona funding campaign garners large response in first week

HARRISVILLE — The Farm to Fork Alcona campaign, which aims to make Alcona County a tourist destination through local foods, is more than halfway to a fundraising goal less than a week after it started.

Organizer Judy MacNeill said through a Patronicity campaign the group has raised more than $4,000 of a $7,500 goal since the campaign was kicked off Monday.

The kickoff event was held at Lost Lake Woods Resort and featured a locavore dinner.

“It was a spaghetti dinner with all the trimmings. Every ingredient came from Alcona County, and a few came from (greater) Michigan,” MacNeill said. “We kept it as local as possible.

Part of the campaign aims to educate the public about the virtues and opportunities in utilizing local food ingredients, many of which are available in Alcona County, MacNeill said.

She said there are large incentives to meet the fundraising goals.

According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation if the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $7,500 by Oct. 29, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program.

Donations can be made by visiting www.patronicity.com/farmtoforkalcona.

According to MacNeill funding raised during this campaign will support the production of quality workshops, locavore dinners, and small farm conferences throughout the region.

The program, which is sub program of Inspiration Alcona, aims to offer workshops and other activities throughout the coming year to help promote the cause.

“The more funding we make the more workshops and programs that we can offer,” she said. “And the more people will get excited and get on board about the whole idea for Alcona County. That is the whole goal, to get everyone rolling in the same direction on this, and when we get this going the idea is not only does it generate interest within the community, but interest in the community from people outside who may want to come here to visit.”

MacNeill said she was very heartened to get so many donations just days after the campaign started.

“It demonstrates the generosity of this community and the fact that we believe in what we believe,” she said.

The group’s first event is a locavore dinner and workshop to be hosted Sept. 30. MacNeill said although the dinner sold out there are still spots for the 2 p.m. workshop with David Klingenberger of Ann Arbor’s The Brinery. She said Klingenberger will demonstrate fermentation techniques that can be used at home. More information about that event can be found by visiting www.inspriationalcona.com or by calling 736-3000.

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at jogden@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.

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