When you talk with Helen and Steve Baran you can feel their enthusiasm for grapes and the local agricultural community. Now you will be able to see it as well. The Barans, owners of Baran’s Vineyards in Westfield, have made a $20,000 donation to the Grape Discovery Center Building Fund, demonstrating their continuing leadership and commitment to the Westfield community.
The Baran’s donation kicks off a fundraising campaign by the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association for the second and final phase of the Grape Discovery Center Project. The Center will tell the 150-year story of the Concord Grape Belt, the oldest and largest concord grape growing region in the world, and is anticipated to attract 50,000 to 75,000 tourists annually.
“The telling of this story and promoting products made in this area will help to keep our work relevant in the minds of consumers,” says Dave Momberger, Building Chairman. “These efforts will also help preserve our local grape industry, which generates $343 million per year in direct economic impact to the region.” The Center is located at 8305 West Main Road (Route 20) between Westfield and Ripley. The first phase of its development was initiated with funding obtained by Senator Catharine Young through the Revitalize Upstate New York program.
In thanking the Barans for their donation, Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association Executive Director Andrew Dufresne notes that Helen and Steve are both true leaders in the community. “The Barans are optimistic folks. They are generous, thoughtful and true leaders and we are greatly indebted to them and express our thanks for their contributions and support of the Grape Discovery Center.”
The official fundraiser kickoff will be on October 28th. A by-invitation viewing of the Grape Discovery Center progress will be held for elected and business leaders from 2- 4 p.m. that day, followed by a 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. general public viewing. More information is available at www.concordgrapebelt.org.