Generous Support for Students through Thomas K. Mathison Memorial Golf EventJennifer Witherbee
An impressive sum was raised by Stemilt Growers this year to support the college dreams of the children of Stemilt employees and community members through its annual Thomas K. Mathison Memorial Golf Tournament. This year $122,500 was contributed to the Thomas K. Mathison Memorial fund at the Washington Apple Education Foundation!
Annually WAEF awards scholarships from the Thomas K. Mathison Memorial fund to young people demonstrating commitment to their personal goals, strong character, and an entrepreneurial spirit. This year’s recipients were Jerry Torres and Kaitlyn Thornton.
Jerry Torres is the son of Stemilt Growers’ employee Ismael Torres and Teresa Torres. Jerry also has worked for Stemilt Ag Services in an intern role and as a member of its research and development team. Jerry sees his future in the industry not because he chose agriculture but because agriculture chose him. Jerry shared he’s lived by the adage shared by his family, “You get far in life by the amount of hard work you put in. The moment you let others work harder than you is the moment you become a passenger to your own destination.” After graduation he plans to get a job as a farm manager to learn on the job from others while continuing to grow the company he founded, GraftGo.
Kaitlyn Thornton, Tonasket, stood out because of her integrity and ingenuity. Kaitlyn is a 2021 Tonasket High School senior who received both her high school diploma and associates degree from Wenatchee Valley College in June. Her career goal is to become a fruit marketer and possibly take over her family’s orchard in Tonasket. While a high school sophomore, Kaitlyn created a business to sell fruit that was not moving through conventional channels. Over the last two years she’s sold 1,129 boxes of fruit through her company Kati’s Crates. She’s been featured in articles and videos about her business and is proudly referred to as the “apple lady.”
A big thank you to Stemilt Growers, the Mathison family, golf tournament coordinators Jay Fulbright and Mark Blakney, and tournament sponsors & golfers!