By Tamas Mondovics

Wish Farms, one of the largest growers and shippers of strawberries in Florida, is once again making preparations to host the Fifth Annual Strawberry Picking Challenge.

The event has become an annual tradition over the last half decade, and continues to not only draw a large crowd for the fun and strawberry-filled day, but to benefit the children of Redlands Christian Migrants Association (RMCA).

According to organizers, last year’s event was a great success resulting in the raising of more than $100,000 with all proceed going to RMCA, a non-profit organization, founded in 1965, which now operates child-care centers and charter schools for Florida’s rural poor, particularly farm workers’ children.

To date, the event has raised a total of $328,000.

“A special thank you goes out to all of our 2017 sponsors for supporting RCMA,” said event organizer Amber Maloney.

RCMA operates 70 child-care centers and three charter schools, throughout the state including 18 in the Tampa Bay area.

Wish Farms announced that this year’s competition led by presenting sponsor, Monte Packaging is scheduled for Saturday, February 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. bringing local growers and the public together as they participate in a relay-style berry picking race.
Monte Packaging is a service-oriented, direct distributor of agricultural containers and products for produce packers and growers throughout the world.

According to officials, each team will be competing for the coveted Strawberry Joe Trophy, named after the late Joe Wishnatzki, owner Gary Wishnatzki’s father.

Joe and his brother, Lester, joined the family business in 1955. Joe was passionate about strawberries and would be proud to support a charity event that promotes the importance of our farmers and pickers. The ‘Strawberry Joe’ is a perpetual trophy that is passed around each year to the new winner.

The festivities are free to the general public with free to parking. U- Pick Strawberries, $5 per quart, will be donated to RCMA.

If you would like to sponsor our event next year, email

For details, please contact Wish Farms’ Director of Marketing Amber Maloney at 758-9027 or

For more information about Wish Farms, please visit

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