Categorized | Education

Farmer’s Market Raises $16,000 for Parker School


Kay Cabrera, Alice Humbert, Susan Sanderson, Paul Johnston, Carl Sturges and Betsy Sanderson

Kay Cabrera, Alice Humbert, Susan Sanderson, Paul Johnston, Carl Sturges and Betsy Sanderson

Every Saturday morning Parker School’s campus is home to an enthusiastic group of farmers and artisans who bring the fruit of their labor to the Waimea Town Market. From bakers to coffee farmers, sausage makers to orchid growers and producers of a cornucopia of vegetables and fruit in between, the offerings are many and varied. Local chefs prepare delicious breakfasts. You can even get your knives sharpened!

More remarkable still, this volunteer-run market raised $16,000 for Parker School programs through the end of last year. Started in the fall of 2008 by local farmer Paul Johnston, the market has grown steadily from its original nine booths, and now showcases the productions of over 30 vendors. Visiting the market is now a ritual for Big Island food lovers, where residents and visitors alike enjoy meeting and socializing at the picnic tables, live music by “Woody” Young of Sunrise Farms, and the great view of Mauna Kea.

According to Dr. Carl Sturges, Headmaster at Parker School, “The market has created a place with a strong feeling of community here on the campus, which fits well with the school’s objective to be an integral part of life in the center of town.”

When Johnston first proposed the market to Parker School he discussed a number of benefits, including a financial one. “I listened to Paul’s numbers, and I thought ‘in your dreams,’” said Sturges, but he adds, “Paul actually delivered what he said he would. We have been delighted, both with the income and with the success of the market as a gathering place for the community.”

“We at the market have immensely enjoyed participating in this in-town community,” said Johnston, “and I’d like to thank Parker School sincerely for giving us the opportunity. It has also been a lot of fun! I believe that the market is successful because of the terrific vendors who have joined, and also the efforts of the Steering Committee that oversees the operations and events. Mahalo to all of them!”

While the market connects local vendors directly to consumers, it also provides a variety of opportunities for Parker School students as well. Sports teams and the debate team, as well as individual classes, regularly hold car washes in conjunction with the market. In addition to raising much-needed funds for school activities, the resulting interactions familiarize community members with Parker’s programs and events, such as plays, concerts and movie nights.

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