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Ag Leadership Council receives Hero Award for donations to medical foundation

The Agricultural Leadership Council in Salinas, CA, whose members include many high-profile produce company executives, received the 2013 Hero Award from the Natividad Medical Foundation in recognition of more than $800,000 in donations made by members over several years, including more than $200,000 during January and February of this year, to purchase needed medical equipment for Navidad Hospital in Salinas.

Linda Ford, president and chief executive officer of the Natividad Medical Foundation, presented the Hero Award to TALC founder John D'Arrigo, president of D'Arrigo Bros. Co. of California Inc., at an award ceremony Feb. 28.

Other TALC members on hand to receive the honor were Mike Antle, Dennis Caprara, Steve Church, Tom Church, Andy D'Arrigo, Dennis Donohue, Sammy Duda, Lou Huntington, state Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel), Joe Pezzini and Eddie Silva.

"Under the leadership of John D'Arrigo and TALC's 21 other founding members, a membership drive and fundraising campaign was undertaken beginning in January 2013," according to a press release issued by the Natividad Medical Foundation. "A hotline for becoming a TALC member was established ... and membership was opened to the entire community for the purpose of continuing the critical work of providing life-saving equipment and services to those who need it most. During the campaign, TALC members raised $214,400 and increased TALC membership to 116. Since its inception in 2010, TALC has donated $820,050."

John D'Arrigo, a third-generation Salinas Valley grower and President of D'Arrigo Bros. Co. of CA, founded The Agricultural Leadership Foundation "to philanthropically support Natividad Medical Center and improve the health status of farm workers and their families," the release stated.

The council's founding members,

In addition to Mr. D'Arrigo, founding members of the council are Dennis and Janice Caprara of R. C. Farms LLC, Tom Nunes Jr. of The Nunes Co. Inc., Ed Boutonnet and Joe Pezzini of Ocean Mist Farms, Eddie and John Silva of Silva Farms, Dennis Donohue of Royal Rose Farms, Bruce Taylor of Taylor Farms, David Gill and Jamie Strachan of Growers Express LLC, Tom Russell of Pacific International Vegetable Marketing Inc., Steve and Tom Church of Church Bros. Produce, Bob Antle and Rick Antle of Tanimura & Antle, Bardin Bengard representing the Bengard Family, Albert and Donna Oliveira of G.O. Vineyard Management Co., Mark Drever and Steve Taylor of NewStar Fresh Foods LLC, Chris Bunn representing the Yuki & Bunn families, Sammy Duda of Duda Farm Fresh Foods, the Nucci and Ramsey families of Mann Packing, Miles Reiter of Driscoll's, Georgann Esikamp of Cowles Berry Farm, Ray DeRiggi of Dole Fresh Vegetables, Phil Adrian of Coastline, and Lou Huntington in honor of Pacific Valley Bank.