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Connecting our Roots: GROW Education Fundraiser Brings Community to the Table

For more information contact:
Zoe Hansen-DiBello,
Grow Education, Program Director
508-748-0818 x120


September 13, 2017

New Bedford, MA – “Laying Our Roots” was the theme on a gorgeous Wednesday evening when an enthusiastic crowd of SouthCoast residents gathered to support the Marion Institute’s GROW Education Program at the Fort Taber Community Center in New Bedford, MA. The annual “Taste of September” fundraiser brought together a variety of local restaurants and vendors in a tasting to celebrate the culinary traditions of the communities in which GROW’s gardens are located, primarily American, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, and Latin American.

Guests were treated to:

The Cocktail Guru mixed artisanal cocktails that complimented the cultural melange, including a delicious Cape Verdean Punch and a Central American-inspired Tapado Frio.  guests were also able to taste a selection of regional wines from urban winery Travessia and craft beers from local breweries.

All of this took place while guests perused a diverse array of unique items and one-of-a-kind experiences up for bid at the silent auction table. This year’s donors included: AvraVeda Apothecary/Blio Herb, Boutique Fitness, Brahmin, Cape Air, Drift Day Spa, Hippo, New Bedford Historical Society, Round the Bend Farm, Southcoast Halotherapy, Terra Cura, Inc.,The Bride Family, Track + Channel, Travessia Urban Winery.

2017 Sponsors included: Baldwin Brothers, Bristol County Savings Bank, First Citizens Federal Credit Union, Hawthorne Medical, The City of New Bedford, The Cocktail Guru, Not Your Average Joe’s, New Bedford Wellness Initiative, Sid Wainer & Son, Boutique Fitness, Cabot Creamery, Weatherlow Farms/Florals, and New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches.

This fundraiser was a true representation of the local community and is part of an ongoing effort to raise funds to support GROW’s work.

GROW Education is a local initiative that cultivates community gardens at New Bedford Public Schools to create hubs for community action. The gardens are built and maintained by students, teachers, and community volunteers.  The program brings together local residents of all ages to share knowledge about growing healthy foods and healthy neighborhoods.

GROW Education facilitates community garden-based workshops, bringing neighbors together to share cultural gardening traditions and farming practices, which is proving to engage the city’s prominent immigrant communities.

GROW Education has been working in the local schools for the past 4 years, and currently organizing 12 gardens that serve over 7,000 families. Wednesday’s fundraiser made close to $10,000 dollars for the program’s goals, but the organization is still working toward reaching it’s fundraising goals for the year. Donations are being taken at

The Marion Institute is an incubator of innovative models for social change. We cultivate great ideas and support visionary leaders creating progress around the world. Based on the Southcoast of Massachusetts, the Marion Institute strives to enhance the quality of life for our neighbors as well, working to strengthen community, foster healthy living, and expand sustainability.

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