As a way to honor and give back to those who served in the military, longtime Alfred State friend and supporter Evelyn Turner and the college’s Culinary Arts Department recently each made a substantial contribution to the Allegany County Vietnam Veterans Organization.
During the college’s Festa Italiana dinner, which was a fundraiser for the organization, Turner donated $5,000 to the veterans group, which maintains 110 acres of woodland as a retreat and recreation sanctuary for military veterans in Alma. In addition to Turner’s generosity, the Culinary Art Department’s fundraiser dinner, bake sale, and donation jar from that day raised roughly $4,000 for the organization.
Mark Voorhees, chaplain of the veterans group, said, “On behalf of the Allegany County Vietnam Veterans Organization, we’d like to thank Alfred State and everyone involved with putting on this event, as well as all of the folks from Alfred State who have come up to our 110 acres of serene and beautiful woodland at our camp in the town of Alma.”
Turner briefly spoke to the chaplain before presenting his organization with the check.
“I’m proud to be able to present this check to you after visiting your facilities,” she told him. “I was immediately impressed and made my decision then, little did you know. I’ve kept you waiting for this special occasion and I’d like to present you with a check for $5,000 to start out.”
Deb Burch, chair of the Alfred State Culinary Arts Department noted, “Evelyn and the culinary team have a great respect for our veterans. When we are aware of a group of veterans trying to help other veterans, there is never any hesitation by this group of professionals to help the cause and I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this special group of people and Alfred State College. It really warms my heart.”
Burch added that her culinary team is “truly blessed to have a community and Alfred State administration that supports our efforts to teach students the techniques and processes in effectively catering a high-volume event such as the Festa Italiana dinner,” which served approximately 400 guests.
The Culinary Arts Department itself continues to benefit from Turner’s generosity, as the Wellsville resident recently made a donation of approximately $55,000 toward her two Alfred State culinary scholarships: the Evelyn Turner Culinary Arts Annual Scholarship and the Evelyn Turner Excellence in Culinary Arts Annual Scholarship.