When you gather the National Football League (NFL), some of the nation’s leading nutrition and health experts, and dairy farmers, one would hardly expect dairy farmers to draw the loudest applause.
But, it’s true. When these three groups were introduced, it wasn’t even close . . . dairy farmers received 18 seconds of grand applause.
This took place in New York City, where 500 attendees assembled for the GENYOUth Gala, the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year that supports youth wellness programs, including Fuel Up to Play 60, developed by the dairy checkoff in partnership with the NFL.
Thanked four groups
“My duty tonight is very simple . . . I want to thank four groups,” said Dairy Management Inc. CEO Tom Gallagher to the New York City crowd.
“First, I want to thank my fellow GENYOUth board members,” he said, and the group received a fine applause.
“Second, I want to thank two groups . . . without them . . . we wouldn’t be here,” said the CEO who leads the Dairy Checkoff. “Ten years ago, two groups got together with hope, a dream, not a lot of money, and started Fuel Up to Play 60.
“The first group is Roger Goodell, the NFL, the NFL Players Association, and everyone associated with the NFL. Thank you for all you do,” to which the assembled group gave good praise.
“The second group that joined the NFL . . . kind of strange bedfellows if you think about it, but it makes sense now . . . are America’s 36,000 family dairy farms across the nation. These groups came together to invest in our future — our youth,” said the longtime dairy industry official.
“Those dairy farmers have had the four toughest years economically they have ever had . . . lots of people going out of business. Things are starting to look better,” he said.
“Their commitment to this organization and the importance we place on our youth has never wavered. We have 23 dairy farmers in the room tonight. Would you please stand?” asked Gallagher.
An 18-second rousing round of applause and cheers.
(To hear this, click on audio link at the end of this article.)
“You’re the rock stars!” he said to the dairy farmers attending the event. “You feed America and the world.”
As the crowd settled down, Gallagher continued, “Last, I want to thank you all for being here. You made this a financially successful night.”
The main event
“I want to remind you about one statistic,” said Gallagher of the night’s cause. “It takes about $7,000 to put a breakfast cart into a school. That breakfast cart feeds 550 kids. That increases access to about 100,000 school breakfasts each year. Those breakfast carts have a life cycle of at least five years,” he said on December 4.
“By contributing to GENYOUth, you can help kids who are food insecure have a great start to their school day.”
Judge for yourselves
For those who want to listen for themselves, go ahead and click on this three-minute audio file.
To view highlights of the GENYOUth Gala, click on this link: https://vimeo.com/380544784.
To read more, click on the link "Dairy's image has grown in health circles."