, , , ,

Local family business uses celebration to lend a helping hand for the community

Local family business uses celebration to lend a helping hand for the community

March 17, 2017              By Daniel Brammer

The inspiration for On Sunny Slope Farm came roughly five years ago, when the owner’s daughter wanted to have her dream wedding on their farm in Rockingham County. The land has been in the family since 1828, and it now operates as a scenic location for various events. “I enjoy what I do, and planning events is where I get my energy,” says Harry Jarrett, owner of On Sunny Slope Farm, “I can always see through the planning stages knowing how wonderful the celebrations will be.”

Considering its award-winning status as a licensed wedding and special events venue, Jarrett has taken great strides to ensure this family farm could provide more than just holy matrimony to the surrounding community. They have had enormous impact on many non-profit organizations in the area by hosting fundraisers, festivals, and other special events. “I’m a pastor, so funding non-profit organizations, benefitting the community, and doing good for simply good sake is one of my core values,” says Jarrett, who is also currently an interim pastor at Elk Run Church of the Brethren.

Realizing the amount of potential and amenities his farm had to offer, Jarrett was more than reluctant to begin reaching out to help. “I’ve always been involved in altruistic, non-profit things, so it was a natural part of what I wanted to do here,” he explains. His venue hosts 12 events annually for local non-profit organizations, including JMU SafeRides, New Creation, Bridgewater Historical Society, and more. All proceeds go towards the respective organization with no profit returning to On Sunny Slope Farm.

One of the biggest festivals they host is the annual Food Truck Festival coming this April. Every penny raised during the event helps to fund Open Doors, a homeless shelter operating in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. This fundraiser alone raises half of Open Doors’ annual budget at over $30,000 each year. Without the supporting efforts from volunteers, along with generous donations, Open Doors would cease to even exist. It is organizations in need that inspire Jarrett to roll up his sleeves and help make a difference.

“This event has allowed us to think less about getting the bills paid, and more about how we can grow and better serve our guests and their needs,” says Rachel Howdyshell. As Executive Director, Howdyshell witnesses first-hand how much impact the Food Truck Festival has on the organization and its efforts. Funding from the community is what makes Open Doors possible, so the people at On Sunny Slope Farm take every step necessary to provide the best experience they can offer. Jarret says, “I find great joy in helping others, especially in their time of need. My farm would almost be going to waste if I didn’t use it to support organizations like Open Doors.”

Open Doors began its efforts roughly ten years ago, in hopes of providing shelter and support for homeless individuals in Harrisonburg and Rockingham. Because of their non-profit status, they rely on the generous help offered by countless volunteers within the area. “I fell in love with the organization and became passionate about the work because I believe everyone deserves food and shelter,” says Howdyshell, who started as a volunteer in 2009.

Not only do they rely on volunteering individuals, but Open Doors reaches out to local churches and faith communities to be the hosting shelter for scheduled weeks. The two organizations team up to provide the necessary amenities, such as meals, bedding, toiletries, and volunteers, to serve the homeless individuals. Open Doors receives support from over 30 faith communities that offer shelters throughout Rockingham County.

Just last year, the shelter helped house 171 unique individuals, with an average of 29 guests every evening. To help manage and support these people, Open Doors had the help of over 1,300 shelter volunteers and over 55 different volunteer groups.

To help organize, Howdyshell relies on each shelter’s staff to have everything in place and ready for the arrival of those planning to use the shelter. Phil Kniss, pastor at Park View Methodist Church, tells us, “We often volunteer to host at least one or two weeks each year, and provide all the meals and volunteers necessary.” He also detailed that they provide overnight presence from staff, personally prepare the meals, and even transport linens for laundry. Along with providing shelter, Kniss says they include support of Open Doors in their annual budget as well.

When asked about Food Truck Festival, Howdyshell explained, “The event’s success draws from its ability to bring the community together to celebrate food, music and warm weather. Not only that, but also knowing the money is supporting such a great cause.” At last year’s festival, they had over 2,000 people attend, with 14 food trucks, three local bands, and 24 vendors. With all the moving pieces involved, both Howdyshell and Jarrett say their organizations begin planning for this event roughly nine months in advance each year.

Along with the thanks given to the volunteers and donors that support Open Doors, Howdyshell was also more than grateful for the support from On Sunny Slope Farm. “On Sunny Slope Farm was generous enough to donate their venue to us. Harry and his employees are great to work with and work hard to pull off a successful event year after year,” says Howdyshell. She sincerely appreciates their ability to treat Open Doors like family and help with the fight against homelessness.

Especially after seeing success in recent years, Jarrett is more than ready to see what the Food Truck Festival will bring this year. As he and his family prepare for this event, they are making every necessary adjustment to top previous years. Although there are still weddings to plan for the spring, Jarrett assures they will never fall short of providing Open Doors the festival they deserve.

At the end of the day, those at On Sunny Slope Farm want nothing less than to bring people together to celebrate and enjoy life. “This is more of a family-friendly, local farm that is big in its surroundings, but intimate in the sense of how we go about doing business,” says Jarrett. Whether its running their own business, or offering services to others, everyone is welcome in the Jarrett family when coming to the farm.

, , ,

Announcing our new partnership with @BellaFesta

Secondhand Snags: A Recycled Wedding Yardsale

CALLING ALL BRIDES AND BRIDES- TO- BE!

Do you have too much left over wedding decor? Do you wish their was a way you could pass down your pieces to brides who are searching for that perfect centerpiece? Are you looking for low cost wedding decorations for your upcoming wedding? Well, we have your answer!

On Sunny Slope Farm will be hosting “Secondhand Snags: A Recycled Wedding Yardsale” on April 10th, 2016 from 2-6 p.m. which will invite former brides to sell their wedding decor and other accessories to brides who may be searching for items to decorate their big day. We welcome you to bring your centerpieces, DIY crafts, and even your wedding dress and other wedding attire. On Sunny Slope Farm will be renting 5″ foot merchandise tables for $30 dollars per table.

If you were married at On Sunny Slope Farm, we will discount your table to $15 to sell your decor! Tables are available to be shared upon request. This event is FREE to guests, and all sellers will keep full profit of sales. Food and beverages will also be available for purchase.

To reserve your FREE ticket or purchase a merch table for this event, click on the universe.com link listed below. We would love to help you prepare for your wedding as well as sell what you have left! We hope to see you there!

,

12 Baskets and a Goat

12 Baskets and a Goat is a project of Ted & Co, Heifer International, and Church of the Brethren to raise awareness of poverty and empower communities to restore dignity to those in need, by raising funds for Heifer’s work around the world.

THE SHOW

The Jesus Stories, written and performed by Ted Swartz and Jeff Raught, featuring original, beautiful (and hilarious) songs/music by Jeff, asks two questions….what are we having to eat and who are we eating it with? It’s a question, but also an invitation. Stories in the Gospels place Jesus eating with people, all kinds of people, at all kinds of places. This is a play about Jesus and food; about what we need every day to sustain us, nourish us, and connect us with God and with others. Food as a place of hospitality and relationship. The play blends humor, theological insight and serious reflection.

HOW THE EVENT WORKS

The program will feature the play, interrupted at two intervals to auction off home-made bread, symbols of life and sustenance, in a spirit of giving, humor, and community-building. The 12 baskets which will hold these breads allude to the Gospel account of the 12 baskets made full by fragments given and received in faith and love. This Jesus story invites all of us to participate in the reality of enough for all and multiplied blessing made real. We will also auction off goats, flocks of ducks, and other fun animals featured in the Heifer store. All funds raised during the auction and donation will go to Heifer International for their continued good work relieving poverty around the world.

HARRISONBURG PILOT SHOW VENUE

The very first pilot show will take place in Harrisonburg, VA, scheduled for November 14, 2015 at the old Sale Barn, on Sunny Slope Farm, just days before Charles Wampler, Jr.’s 100th birthday. The Farm is a certified Virginia Century Farm, owned and operated by the same family on the same land, providing food to the community for 186 years.

The Sale Barn, and the Wampler family farm have a long history in the Brethren Church, going back to the 1800’s. The restoration of the barn, leading up to the show, echoes the call to our own need for restoration back to the lands from which we are fed and grown, both spiritually and physically. This is a call to the restoration of roots and relationships. Our own rootedness in the specific places that we love. The rootedness of Heifer International with its foundations in Church of the Brethren, and how that intersects right here in Harrisonburg with the continuing story of land, food, and compassionate care for others.

For booking or more information contact Valerie Serrels, Project Coordinator/ Ted & Co office@tedandcompany.com / 540-560-3973

,

No Tricks – Just Treats

No Tricks – Just Treats

The evenings are growing longer and it’s time to savor the feelings of fall.  On Saturday October 31st, 2015, On Sunny Slope Farm is providing the perfect event to welcome this delightful autumn season.

From 5pm to 10pm On Sunny Slope Farm will be open to our community for an exciting evening of scrumptious food, great music and thrilling games for all. Food vendors include a hearty meal from Mamma’s Caboose and tantalizing deserts from Smiley’s Ice Cream food truck. More food trucks will be added based on tickets sales.

The evening entertainment will be provided by three of JMU’s stellar A Capella groups, Madison Project, Into Hymn and Rescored – something you won’t want to miss! Vendors include Dove Chocolate and several others who will be set up for everyone’s enjoyment. Children and adults alike can also look forward to painting pumpkins donated by Food Lion, Walmart and local farmers, sack races, corn hole, face painting and other lawn games.

With admission costing only $5, On Sunny Slope Farm doesn’t just hope to give you a laid back and fun evening on the farm, but also seeks to fund and support two local youth groups for upcoming mission’s trips; Muhlenberg Lutheran Church and Harrisonburg First Church of the Brethren.

No Tricks – Just Treats is a way to support the local community while also enjoying an evening with friends and family. This is the ideal event to kick off a new season of fall. So grab your friends, a warm blanket to cozy up in, and join us for a memorable evening of laughter and harvest cheer!

This is a non-alcohol family friendly event. Advance Tickets Only. No tickets available at door.

Poster No tricks just treats

Evening on the Hill with Bridgewater Healthcare Foundation

You are invited to a wonderful “Evening on the Hill” to support Bridgewater Retirement Community’s Resident Care Endowment Fund. Your evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with an reception followed by dinner and dancing. Our music for the evening will be provided by the Charlottesville band The Jazz Invitation and wine from our wine sponsor Bluestone Vineyards will be available.

The Resident Care Endowment Fund support Bridgewater Home as it cares for our residents who have exhausted their resources.

Thank you to all our sponsors!

Band Sponsor

Lenhart Pettit

Wine Sponsor

Bluestone Vineyards

Table Sponsor

Bonnie Lou Wampler

Starlight Sponsor

Partner’s Excavating

Steve and Ruth Watson

Every Day People In Concert On Sunny Slope Farm

In Support of Mennonite Economic Development Associates and Bike to Grow, Everyday People will be in concert on April 17, 2015.

On Sunny Slope Farm, a renowned event venue located in the Shenandoah Valley, will host a fundraiser for MEDA—Mennonite Economic Development Associates. The event, which will be open to the public and take place on Friday April 17th from 5 – 10 p.m., will feature music, beer and wine tastings, door prizes and food trucks. Proceeds from the festival will support women farmers and entrepreneurs in Ghana through MEDA’s “Bike to GROW” volunteer initiative.

“MEDA is a great organization doing amazing things in the world,” says Harry Jarrett, owner of On Sunny Slope Farm. “I’m happy to help spread the word about the important work MEDA does to create business solutions to poverty.”

Jarrett founded On Sunny Slope Farm in 2013 and has since been featured as a recipient of the 2015 Couples’ Choice Award by WeddingWire.com. A native of the Valley, Jarrett is a passionate supporter of MEDA’s mission and values. “Harry has a huge heart for others and an entrepreneurial spirit that really sets him apart. We are thrilled that Harry has offered his venue to help us further our mission,” says Ethan Eshbach, coordinator of engagement initiatives at MEDA. “This event will be a blast; it’s an awesome opportunity to have fun and help others at the same time.”

Ticket options for the event range from $15-$25 and are available at onsunnyslopefarm.com/events. Tickets include concert, a meal and a raffle ticket.

DOOR PRIZES WILL BE GIVEN AWAY DURING THE EVENING!

Grand Prize: iPad Air 2 with Case

1st Runner-up iPad mini 3 with case

2nd Runner-up: iPod touch

About Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)
MEDA is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty. Founded in 1953 by a group of Mennonite business professionals, we partner with the poor to start or grow small and medium-sized businesses in developing regions around the world. Our expertise includes a full range of economic development tools: financial services, improved technology, business training, better access to markets and equity investment. Our work most often focuses on women, youth and the rural poor. We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to earn a livelihood and that unleashing entrepreneurship is a powerful way to alleviate poverty.

About Bike to GROW

Sarah French and Mary Fehr are former MEDA interns from Canada. After their internship experiences in Nicaragua and Tanzania, Sarah and Mary felt compelled to support the work of MEDA, and specifically MEDA’s work with women entrepreneurs. That’s why in summer 2015, Sarah and Mary will bike across Canada—a distance of 8,710 km—to raise $150,000 for women in Ghana through MEDA’s GROW project. Their journey, entitled Bike to GROW, represents the struggles that women in developing nations experience on a daily basis.

Swing Into Spring | Prepare for your wedding and your marriage April 16, 23, 30 and May 7, 2015

ENGAGED VALLEY COUPLES INVITED TO SWING INTO SPRING AT ON SUNNY SLOPE FARM

Harrisonburg, Va – March 2, 2015

This Spring, On Sunny Slope Farm, one of Harrisonburg’s premier wedding and event venues—recently honored with the 2015 WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award—will host Swing into Spring: Prepare for your Wedding | Enrich your Marriage four Thursdays in a row (April 16, 23, 30 and May 7) from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

As the name suggests, this event will offer attending couples the opportunity to prepare for their upcoming weddings as they take advantage of an informal bridal show, where they will meet and sample services from many of the Valley’s top wedding vendors while enjoying the venue’s picturesque panoramic views and many amenities.

Attendees will also enjoy presentations from licensed premarital coaches, who will lead them through the interactive Prepare/Enrich program, which boasts a significant increase in participating couples’ chances of marital happiness and longevity.

Brooke Driver, the owner and head event and wedding coordinator behind North Star Events will also offer advice and lead attendees in exercises aimed at creating a truly personalized event that is a tailored celebration of a unique and beautiful marriage.

The evening out will end with a complimentary hour-long dance lesson and free dancing under the On Sunny Slope Farm tent. For more information or to register see our events page.