Renew Lehigh Valley Celebrated Farmland Preservation and Honored Farmland Preservation Heroes at Sustain-a-Ball

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RenewLV celebrated Lehigh Valley Initiatives to protect and preserve the region’s farmland at a gala fundraiser on Saturday, June 17th at the Allentown Brew Works to support RenewLV’s 2017 Farmland Preservation Campaign.  The event brought together farmers, elected officials and Lehigh Valley residents who care about farmland preservation and growing the local food economy to honor the Valley’s farmland preservation heroes, programs and initiatives.  Those receiving awards included Lehigh County Commissioner Percy Dougherty who received a lifetime achievement award for his ongoing efforts to preserve farmland.   The Farmland Preservation Programs of Northampton and Lehigh Counties were honored for the thousands of acres of farmland they have saved into perpetuity, which ensures the preservation of ‘ farmland forever.’  Upper Milford Township and Moore Township were honored for their efforts in raising farmland preservation funds at the local municipal level.  The Seed Farm was honored for its farmer training program that “grows new farmers.”

Percy Dougherty, honored at the RenewLV Sustain-a-Ball, listed the compelling reasons for preserving our farmland including food production and environmental benefits, citing the exceptional fertility of the soils in Lehigh Valley
Percy Dougherty, honored at the RenewLV Sustain-a-Ball, listed the compelling reasons for preserving our farmland including food production and environmental benefits, citing the exceptional fertility of the soils in Lehigh Valley
RenewLV board member, Mike Drabenstott welcomed the attendees of RenewLV’s Sustain-a-Ball and thanked the sponsors for their support
RenewLV board member, Mike Drabenstott welcomed the attendees of RenewLV’s Sustain-a-Ball and thanked the sponsors for their support 

Sponsors for the event included the title sponsor, Embassy Bank of the Lehigh Valley, joined by Samuel Adams, The Amaranth Foundation,  St. Luke’s University Health Network, Morris Black Designs, Sustainable Energy Fund, Jenny’s Kuali, Canns-Bilco, Wesley Works Real-estate, Lehigh Valley Health Network, David Hornung Architect Planners, Morgan Stanley and Rural Preservation Association of  Northwestern  Lehigh County.

Diane Cunningham, representing title sponsor Embassy bank, greets crowd and expresses gratitude for the Sustain-a-Ball
Diane Cunningham, representing title sponsor Embassy bank, greets crowd and expresses gratitude for the Sustain-a-Ball

People honored at the Sustain-a-Ball received recognition and praise for their work in farmland preservation and for their assistance in RenewLV’s successful 2016 Farmland Preservation Campaign.  RenewLV advocated in 2016 for funding Lehigh and Northampton County farmland preservation offices at a level  that totaled $2.5 million in the 2017 county budgets, $2 million for Lehigh County and $500,000 for Northampton County.

Julie Thomases, RenewLV Board member and Chair of RenewLV’s Farmland Preservation Committee, together with Joyce Marin, RenewLV’s Executive Director, highlighted RenewLV’s successful 2016 Farmland Preservation efforts and the partnerships that made them possible in restoring the Lehigh and Northampton County funding for farmland preservation.

 

Delwin Fiddler, Jr., a world renowned Lakota performing artist plays the Native American flute at the RenewLV Sustain-a-Ball 
Delwin Fiddler, Jr., a world renowned Lakota performing artist plays the Native American flute at the RenewLV Sustain-a-Ball

Attendees enjoyed the dance and flute playing of world-renowned Native American performing artist, Delwin Fiddler, Jr.   Mr. Fiddler gave the attendees of the Sustain-a-Ball a special Native American blessing in both English and Lakota that expressed gratitude to all the people in the Lehigh Valley who work to preserve clean air and water, and healthy soils.  He culminated his part of the program with the presentation of a special honor “lightning stick” to Julie Thomases, for her leadership as chair of RenewLV’s Farmland Preservation Committee.

 

Delwin Fiddler, Jr. honored RenewLV board member and chair of the Farmland Preservation Committee with a “lightening stick” for her work on preserving farmland in the Lehigh Valley in 2016 and 2017
Delwin Fiddler, Jr. honored RenewLV board member and chair of the Farmland Preservation Committee with a “lightening stick” for her work on preserving farmland in the Lehigh Valley in 2016 and 2017
A Silent Auction and Wall of Wine raffle was conducted by Sheila and Jeff Youst with help from Sarabeth Brockley
A Silent Auction and Wall of Wine raffle was conducted by Sheila and Jeff Youst with help from Sarabeth Brockley
Dr. Barnaby Ruhe Ph.D, a professor of art at NYU and an Emmaus resident, painted portraits of attendees, such as this one of Marissa Altman during a Marathon Portrait painting session.
Dr. Barnaby Ruhe Ph.D, a professor of art at NYU and an Emmaus resident, painted portraits of attendees, such as this one of Marissa Altman during a Marathon Portrait painting session. 

Guests at the Sustain-a-Ball included Dan Poresky, Percy and AnneDougherty, Donna Wright, Alan Jennings, State Rep. Bob Freeman, Lehigh County Executive candidate Phillips Armstrong and his wife Annette, Dr. Cory Kirshner, Deana Zosky, Phyllis Alexander, Mark and Theresa Aurand, Pam Ruch and Martin Boksenbaum, Tom Dinkelacker and Carol Janzon, Scott and Allison Fritchman and Tom and Shelia Gallagher.

Seed Farm Executive Director, Lindsey Parks, attended with her father Bob Carrington.  Lou Cinquino attended with his daughter Lucia.  Local farmers and food writers George Devault, Upper Milford Township supervisor and his wife Melanie Devault, attended with their son, Don Devault.

Guests, including Deana Zosky of Lower Macungie Township, Rep. Bob Freeman of Easton, Alan Jennings, Dr. Corey Kirshner, Brian and Lisa Miller of Upper Milford Township and Lynn Rothman of Bethlehem, enjoy cocktail reception at the RenewLV Sustain-a-Ball
Guests, including Deana Zosky of Lower Macungie Township, Rep. Bob Freeman of Easton, Alan Jennings, Dr. Corey Kirshner, Brian and Lisa Miller of Upper Milford Township and Lynn Rothman of Bethlehem, enjoy cocktail reception at the RenewLV Sustain-a-Ball

Sustainaball Sponsors Final

Join our title sponsor, Embassy Bank and others including Samuel Adams, The Amaranth Foundation, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Jenny’s Kuali, The Sustainable Energy Fund, Canns Bilco, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Wesley Works, Kate Dixon, Morris Black & Sons, Working Dog Press, The Rural Preservation Association for Northwestern Lehigh County, David Horung Architect Planner, Inc., Morgan Stanley, The Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works, Don Miles, Mike Drabenstott, Bill Erdman, Bill George, Dick Lane, Julie Thomases, Lehigh University, Natural Awakenings,  Edge of the Woods Native Plants,

Wesley Works provided a photo booth at the Sustain-a-Ball.  If you would like to view or purchase photos taken there, go to this link:  https://wesleyworks.smugmug.com/Photo-Booths/2017/Renew-LV/

If you have questions, email smartgrowth@renewlv.org

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Our 4th Annual Summit for Smart Growth was a huge success! We focused on social entrepreneurship and how to make sustainability legal. Check out the coverage of our event by The Morning Call here

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Last year on December 9th, 2016, almost 200 community leaders and concerned citizens gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in Allentown for RenewLV's fourth annual Summit for Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities to discuss social entrepreneurship and how to make sustainability legal. We also held table discussions that covered topics such as strategies for land preservation, community revitalization and municipal cooperation.

At last year's Summit, we asked the questions:

•How do you balance what appears to be competing interests: Doing good and making money?

•How does overbearing local, state or federal laws prevent us from preserving quality of life and/or supporting smart growth?

•How do we achieve local self-determination without giving up some of the laudable goals of regulations intended to provide quality of life and prosperity for all?

A big thank-you to all of the Summit for Smart Growth sponsors who contributed to last year's discussion! You made this event possible!

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Report Highlights Fiscal Benefits of Smart Growth Renew Lehigh Valley has often noted the benefits of smart growth development for municipalities, including cost savings. A new report by Smart Growth America details the benefits for municipalities realized through smart growth development. Read the full report here.

Watch the Envision Lehigh Valley Virtual Meeting

RenewLV and our partners at the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, the City of Allentown, the City of Bethlehem, and the City of Easton held a one-of-a-kind virtual public meeting for Envision Lehigh Valley. 100 participants logged in through a live video feed, Facebook, Twitter, and live chat. Missed the meeting? View the full recording on YouTube here

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