Gold Sponsors ($1 a day, or $162 +)
I owe a huge thanks to my most generous sponsor, John Ingle, the owner of Heron Hill Winery on Keuka Lake. John is passionate about protecting our beautiful home region, the Finger Lakes, which is currently under threat from incoming fracking and gas storage industries. (To learn more about these issues close to mine and John's hearts, check out www.gasfreeseneca.com)
Picture courtesy of: Erin Rafalowski
John has run a fine establishment since its beginning in 1977, with a starting production of 5,000 cases. Heron Hill has since grown to a 20,000 case production of about 20 wine varieties and attracts more than 50,000 people each year. In 2009, John's winery was named by the Travel & Leisure Magazine as one of the top 10 best tasting rooms in the whole world! Having visited Heron Hill, I can say that the winery is very deserving of this award. Heron Hill is as magnificent as a castle, and it sits on a hill overlooking Keuka Lake and the vineyards, as you can see in the picture above. It has a cathedral-like tasting room, a gift shop, a cafe, and plenty of space for big events like wedding receptions. To see the complete and extensive list of Heron Hill's awards and recognitions, go here.
John has committed to running a sustainable business. His vineyards are worked by people, not machines, and chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides are not used on his vineyards (fungicides are used sparingly). Grasses and plants are allowed to grow, rather than being mowed down. John has a great philosophy on sustainability — "going green means giving respect" to the land, the product, and the consumer. To read more about Heron Hill's sustainable initiatives, go here.
My mother and I in front of my grandmother's gardens. Mom has a delicious bottle of Heron Hill wine in her hand. Picture courtesy of: Ronald Green
I am very proud to have Heron Hill Winery as a sponsor! It feels good to have the support of a local winery. Wineries and tourism are so crucial to my region's prosperity. Want to visit Heron Hill? (you should!) There are three locations: Kueka Lake, Seneca Lake, and Canandaigua lake. Go here for more info on locations.
Information source: heronhill.com
I am also fortunate to have the support of two businesses in Ithaca, where I go to college. Home Green Home, located on The Commons, offers sustainable products for every room in your house, allowing you to truly go green! They have organic products galore, particularly fabrics — you can find organic bedding, towels, mattresses, clothing, and more! They have books to help you get started on sustainable living, and products that will help you live trash-free such as reusable water bottles, reusable bags, stainless steel drinking straws, and more.
Owner Joe Nolan was very enthusiastic about my initiative and I am glad to have the support of his awesome business that helps everyone go green. Be sure to check out Home Green Home's website for a complete list of all their awesome products. If you're thinking about or ready to convert to a green lifestyle, Home Green Home is a great place to start. Joe and his associates would love to give you the information to get started, I'm sure.
Logo courtesy of: Joe Nolan
The other business, the Ithaca Hemp Company, has unfortunately gone out of business since sponsoring me. This really bummed me out, because Ithaca Hemp was one of my favorite stores on The Commons, and hemp is a really awesome, sustainable product that the U.S. needs more of! Unfortunately, because of its relation to marijuana, hemp production is illegal in the U.S. and hemp must be imported. With all of its many uses as a sustainable, durable product, I am in strong support of legalizing hemp production! To learn more about hemp, check out this previous post on Viridorari.
As a former Interact Club president in my senior year at Palmyra Macedon High School, it makes me very happy to have the Palmyra Macedon Rotary Club as a sponsor. Rotary International, a global service organization, has been helping to make the world a better place since its inception in 1905. Rotary has an exchange program that allows students to go abroad in high school, and Rotary has and is contributing significantly to eradicating polio all over the world.
Me in New Mexico with my Rotary shirt, printed with Rotary's motto: "Service above self." Picture courtesy of: Carol Bearden
As president of Interact Club in high school, I helped organize my club's annual programs, such as the Angel Tree (a Christmas project where we hang ornaments on a Christmas tree with the gift wishes of local children, and students and faculty at school can pick an ornament and purchase and donate a gift to the child. This helps ensure that all members of our community, including the underprivileged, can find a gift under their tree Christmas morning). I was also able to organize two new service projects: a supply drive to a small, no-kill dog shelter in Waterloo (http://2ndchancedogrescue.com/), and reviving blood donation drives in my high school! The blood drive we organized had lots of student participation and was so successful that Pal-Mac now hopes to do two each year, rather than one.
Community service has been a huge part of my life and I owe it all to Interact and Rotary for helping me break into the world of service. Without understanding the importance of "Service Above Self," I may not be doing what I am now: walking across the country to raise awareness on climate change.
I also owe a thank you to the following individuals who have given me gold sponsorships:
Cindy Meckley (my grandmother)
Lawrence Meckley (my father, who took me shopping for march supplies as a Christmas gift)
Michael Serino (adviser of The Ithacan)
Silver Sponsors (50 cents a day, or $81 +)
Not long before my departure for New Mexico, I scheduled a message appointment with a woman named Betsy Smith, who owns Woman's Wisdom Massage Therapy on Cayuga Lake. While I received an awesome massage, in which Betsy helped to relieve many pains I had been living with for months, I told her about the Climate March. She loved the cause and decided to help me out. She discounted my first massage and asked me to come back for a second massage for free, because she wanted to help me feel better as well as help me along the march. The value of the discount and free massage she gave me makes Betsy one of my silver sponsors.
Betsy has magic hands, and I would strongly suggest her to anyone! She received her education from the Finger Lakes School of Massage, which is right around the corner from Ithaca College. If you are interested in having an appointment with Betsy, you can contact her at 315-568-8658. For more info, go here.
Thank you also to the following individuals who have given me silver sponsorship:
Ron & RoseMarie Meservey
Betty & Ron Green (my grandparents)
"Boys of the Ozone" from Buffalo, New York
The support I have received both from home and from all over New York has been overwhelming and inspiring. Thank you, all of you, for being awesome and supportive! I wouldn't be here in New Mexico right now without you.
Tifini Mills, owner of 2nd Chance Dog Resuce, and Scott Smith proudly sporting their support t-shirts!
Grandpa, Grandma, and boyfriend Bruno wearing their shirts!
Keep being awesome, everyone!