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ACFF celebrates with Veterans, farmers and the community

By Staff | Apr 20, 2015

Nearly 100 people enjoyed a great movie, fascinating discussion, and delicious dinner on April 11 when the American Conservation Film Festival held a spring fundraiser party featuring “Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields,” a film about the movement to employ returning combat veterans in agricultural jobs. Dulanie Ellis, the filmmaker, and Edgar Hercila, a farmer-veteran, came from Los Angeles to attend the event and share with the audience their experiences.

A wonderful evening was had by all and the event raised over $5,000 for the American Conservation Film Festival, a non-profit dedicated to promoting outstanding films and the arts to educate and inspire people to become engaged in conservation. To bring the people who tell this compelling story and those who live it together with our audience was a truly special occasion. A group of ten veterans from the V.A. Hospital, several local farmers, and dozens of ACFF supporters filled the Opera House and the Community Club for the celebration.

This event was made possible by the support and assistance of many people who contributed in so many ways. Thank you to Dulanie Ellis, Edgar Hercila, Barbara Hartman, Calvin Riggleman, James McCormick, and Forrest Pritchard for sharing their stories and perspectives with us. Thank you to Derek Kilmer of Kilmer’s Farm Market for sponsoring a table for the veterans. Thank you to Hollywood Casino at the Charles Town Races for sponsoring a table for local farmers. Thank you to Matthew Lewis and Ken Bussey for the wonderful music. Thank you to Eversweet Apiaries, Bigg Riggs Farm, Shepherd’s Whey Creamery, and Pressed Flour for contributing their fine local products to our dinner, beautifully catered by Margarita Edmondson. Thanks to Jefferson Distributing for the beer and Alice Barkus for the wine. Thanks to Village Florist and Gifts for the flowers. Thanks to the Opera House and the Community Club for hosting us. Thank you to Christian Asam, Susan Carney, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, Catherine Irwin and Karen Kinnett, Mark Muse, and River Riders for their donations to our live auction. Thank you to Chris Ames for leading a very successful auction with the deft assistance of Bob Tabb. Thank you to the amazing party planning team of Lauren Ames, Alice Barkus, Jeffrey Gustafson, Catherine Irwin, Sue Pellish, and Hank Willard. Thank you to all who so generously gave in the live auction, particularly to support student filmmakers’ participation in the 2015 Festival.

And thank you to all who attended and support ACFF and the exceptional stories we have to share. We are so fortunate and grateful to be a part of this community.

Jennifer Lee

Development & Communications Director

American Conservation Film Festival