Geoff Thornton, Tonasket, wins Rears Sprayer in WAEF Raffle

            Wenatchee, WA… Geoff Thornton was the name on the Washington Apple Education Foundation (WAEF) Rears sprayer raffle ticket pulled by Rears Manufacturing president Mike Rear at the Washington State Horticultural Association (WSHA) Industry Awards Banquet held last week in Kennewick.  The grand prize, a 2015 REARS 400 gallon TTN Powerblast sprayer, was generously donated by Rears Manufacturing. 

Geoff Thornton is a grower from Tonasket, Washington.   He has a history with WAEF as both he and his wife were early board members of the foundation.  Mr. Thornton’s winning ticket was purchased by Bayer CropScience.  Bayer purchased 200 tickets and distributed to growers in Washington state to show their appreciation and to further the work of the foundation.

Approximately 860 $25 raffle tickets were sold by the WAEF with the majority of tickets sold during the WSHA Annual Meeting December 1st and 2nd. 

WAEF has spent the last year celebrating its 20th Anniversary.  This is also the twentieth year that the Rear family has donated a sprayer for the annual raffle.  “As we’ve reflected on the foundation’s impact over the last twenty years, we continually give thanks to those that elected early on to get behind the foundation’s work.  The Rear family’s support for WAEF back in 1994 helped us create a splash in the 1994 WSHA Annual Meeting with a bright orange sprayer drawing attention to the forming group,” shared WAEF chairman Jeff Fagg.  He added, “Each year we stand around the sprayer selling raffle tickets at the convention and provide an annual report to ticket purchasers, many who now support the foundation in multiple ways, on the current year’s work of WAEF.”

                The Washington Apple Education Foundation was organized in 1994.  It is the charity of Washington’s tree fruit industry.  The mission of WAEF is to impact lives through access to educational opportunities.  Earlier this year WAEF awarded nearly $850,000 in student scholarships and currently supports nearly 200 students on college campuses.