2017 Farm to Table Dinner: Kathryn Holding, Director of Development

On Thursday, May 11th, Alliance Medical Ministry hosted over 350 of our donors, volunteers, corporate sponsors, board members, friends, and ambassadors for our third Farm to Table Dinner, raising over $159,000!

All photos taken by Furnished Photography by Katherine Fallis.

All photos taken by Furnished Photography by Katherine Fallis.

The evening began with a cocktail hour in our Community Garden, where attendees enjoyed Lynnwood Brewing Concern craft beer and hand-mixed cocktails prepared by Camp Cocktail.  Featured cocktails were "The Prescription" and "The Doctor's Orders", prepared with local spirits from TOPO Distillery and Lassiter Distilling Company.  

Our Community Garden was in full bloom, with Garden & Wellness Coordinator Jesse Crouch offering garden tours and education on the benefits of our Garden & Wellness Program.  The clinic was open for tours, with staff sharing about the care and services provided onsite and the community partners providing off-site care to our patients.

Before dinner began, all attendees had the opportunity play a "Game of Chance" at our Wine Wall, sponsored by Janet Clayton, CCIM, Healthcare Real Estate Group of Avison Young.  Many thanks to our Wine Wall volunteers, including Rebecca and George Edwards, Carrie McMillan and David Boaz, Sheridan Howie,Farah Raymond, and Hannah Wilson.

Cocktail hour was enjoyed by all!

As the sun set, guests headed under the tent for a delicious family-style dinner prepared by partner and event sponsor Irregardless Cafe.  The dinner menu included a garden salad (including greens from the Well-Fed and Alliance gardens), barbeque salmon, short ribs, baby potatoes, and mixed vegetables.  Dessert was homemade vanilla ice cream and blueberries, prepared by our friends at Andia's Homemade Ice Cream.

The evening's program kicked off with testimonials provided by Alliance patients Angela, Kathy, Jan, Pablo, and Maria.

Auctioneer Benjamin Farrell kicked off the live auction portion of the evening announcing a $10,000 matching gift from the Alliance Board of Directors.  The live auction raised $64,000! Auction packages included a BBQ for 50, a long weekend on Bald Head Island, a chef dinner at Raleigh favorite Standard Foods, an in-home dinner prepared by Chef Jonathan Ballard, a rooftop cocktail party at Form & Function, and a trip to Barcelona.

A special thanks to our event co-chairs, Colleen Blondell, Julie Hardesty, and Sherri Henderson for their tireless work on the event.

We are especially grateful to our sponsors for making this event such a success:

Sponsor Sign.jpg

Cooking Matters @ Alliance, Class 2: Doha Medani, Summer Intern

The Cooking Matters class reconvened this past Tuesday for more fun in the kitchen! The theme of this class was incorporating whole grain, vegetables and fruits into breakfast, lunch and dinner! This week showcased three different recipes: quinoa egg muffins for breakfast, quinoa and spinach salad for lunch and a yummy quinoa porridge for dinner! 

Class began by reflecting on the progress towards the challenge presented last class: how to incorporate at least one serving of fruits and vegetables a day. Participants discussed the importance of reading food labels, especially when identifying whole grain products! They practiced reading through labels of food items in the Alliance kitchen. Of course, knife and oven safety skills were reviewed and then the fun started! 

The instructor for the course, Lindsey, decided to switch things up this time! The class was split into groups so that each group prepared a recipe while the other group had the opportunity to explore the community garden! The conversations in the garden centered around the pros and cons of preparing various vegetables to ensure nutritional quality. 

Participants found some okra, peas and other yummy snacks while they were waiting to cook!


The instructor emphasized that a great way to save money is substituting expensive foods in recipes with cheaper ones that have similar tastes and nutritional value. For example, the source of grain in this class was quinoa but Lindsey mentioned that brown rice, whole wheat couscous, whole grain pasta could all be great, cost-effective substitutes. Also, the pecans in the salad could be substituted for peanuts, cashews or almonds. In the salad recipe, swiss chard from the Alliance community garden was harvested and used instead of spinach! It's important to use what's available to you!

Just like last class, everyone went home with a bag produce. Interfaith Food Shuttle provided 70 pounds of produce! This week's bag had mushrooms, green bell peppers, Swiss chard, spinach, tomatoes, onions and peppers! 

Next class promises an interesting lesson on organic versus conventional foods along with skills to prepare more meals and snacks at home! Stay tuned.


Egg and Quinoa Cups


2 eggs

1/4 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cooked sweet potato

1/3 cup mixed vegetables of choice

Veggie ideas: broccoli, spinach, onion, squash, peppers, carrots  

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin cups 

2. In a bowl, whisk eggs and add cooked quinoa and the remaining ingredients

3. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes


Quinoa and Spinach Salad


1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (you can substitute couscous, brown rice, whole wheat pasta) 

6 cups spinach 

1 large apple, thinly sliced 


1/2 cup raw pecans 

1/2 cup dried cranberries

4 ounces goat cheese 


1/4 cup lemon juice 

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. honey 

1 1/2 cup Dijon mustard 


1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Rinse and drain quinoa and add to boiling water. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes. 

2. Make dressing by whisking ingredients together

3. Place spinach in a large bowl and add cooled quinoa, apple slices, and additional ingredients 


Quinoa Porridge with Apples



2 cups cooked quinoa 

1 apple 

1/2 honey 

1 tsp cinnamon 


1. Add quinoa, almond milk, cinnamon, and honey to a pan and cook over medium-low heat.

2. Peel and dice the apple and add to pot 

3. Mix well, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low and stir. 

4. Cook for 5-10 minutes


Volunteer Highlight: Paula Grabill

Paula Grabill taught her first Zumba class at Alliance Medical Ministry in February 2017. The class was so popular, it's now a weekly occurrence!  Paula leads a dedicated group of patients in a rigorous Zumba workout.  

Paula heard about Alliance through a friend who knew we were interested in adding Zumba to our Wellness Program. "I love dancing and I love people. I immediately reached out!"

"There is nothing more rewarding than connecting with people. And if I can do that through dance and music, which are some of the best things in life, then that's even better! I'm very thankful for the opportunity to share something I love doing and know that it's helping people stay active, get healthier and enjoy an hour that's just for them. All that cardio is good for the body and all the laughter, encouragement and support are good for the soul. We are creating a little family where we are all accepted, where we all matter and belong.  I 'm truly thankful for the opportunity these lovely ladies give me each week to walk alongside them, that they give me an hour of their time and that they come with a big smile, ready to try whatever songs may show up on my playlist."

Outside of volunteering at Alliance, Paula is a wife and mother. She and her husband have been married for almost 15 years and we have two daughters, ages 7 and almost 10.  Paula recently started working as a contractor medical interpreter, and has volunteered at Alliance as an interpreter for the Rex Mobile Mammography Bus!

Thank you, Paula, for lending your time and Zumba skills with our patients!

June Garden Report: Jesse Crouch, Garden and Wellness Coordinator

It's the most wonderful time of the year in our Community Garden!  We've planted zucchini, squash, tomatoes, snap peas, and many other vegetables that will begin producing for our patients.  

Our pollinator garden is in full bloom, and our bees have settled in nicely, thanks to the gracious support of Alice Hinman of Apiopolis.  We are incredibly grateful to those volunteers who have already lent a hand in our Garden during the Spring and early summer.

Come Dig in our Garden!

There's lots of time left in the growing season to get dirty!  Join us on one of our regular Garden workdays, or reach out to me directly to schedule, garden@alliancemedicalministry.org:

Second Saturdays, 9 am to 12 pm
July 8 / August 12 / September 9 / October 14 / November 11

Fourth Wednesdays, 5 pm to 7 pm
June 28 / July 26 / August 23 / September 27 / October 25

Veggie Spotlight: "It wasn't even that chard"

This Spring, it's been incredibly fun to work with this tasty, easy to manage, and highly productive crop of chard. We have about 66 plants in about 63 square feet of garden space. In the past two months months we've harvested over 60 pounds of this nutritious vegetable for our patients!  A heat tolerant plant, they should keep going strong through the warm weather. 

Photo courtesy of Ashley Frazier via AllRecipes.com

Photo courtesy of Ashley Frazier via AllRecipes.com

Looking for some inspiration of how to prepare this leafy green?  Try Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese, courtesy of All Recipes. 


Seed to Supper

Our Seed to Supper Gardening Class graduates have planted summer vegetables in their new growing spaces at Alliance, and are beginning to see the fruits of their labor. Green thumbs on the rise!!!

As always, please contact us if you'd like to get involved. We can always use the support of volunteers in our Wellness Programs and in the Garden. Come be a part of a an organization that connects diverse communities through food and health!

Much peace, love and good vibes!

Jesse Crouch, Garden and Wellness Program Coordinator

919-250-3320 x436


June Wellness Report: Jesse Crouch, Garden and Wellness Coordinator

Healthy Harvest

This May, Alliance Medical Ministry piloted our own version of a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, "Healthy Harvest".  Over six weeks, five patients picked up a weekly bag of produce harvested from the Alliance Community Garden, a total of about 150 pounds of fresh vegetables.  Produce included swiss chard, beets, radishes, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, head lettuce, and snap peas.

The Healthy Harvest program began with a salad bar dinner featuring Alliance Community Garden vegetables, and a presentation by WakeMed Registered Dietitian Cara Gant about barriers to food, the importance of incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet, and recipes and ideas for some of the vegetables available.


Alliance is grateful to the continued partnership of non-profit organization You Call this Yoga for providing regular weekly chair yoga classes to our patients.  Yoga is one of the most popular and well-attended wellness programs at our clinic! 

Did you know that community support brings chair yoga to our patients?  You Call this Yoga raises funds to enable them to carry out their mission, including through their annual Yoga Fest.

This April, the 6th Annual Yoga Fest was held at the McKimmon Center, bringing together over 500 participants, teachers, businesses, and volunteers for a day of yoga. Alliance Executive Director Megg Rader and Alliance patients Aisha Lewis-Scott were key note speakers of the April Yoga Fest.  View a video of their presentation through the link to the right.

Alliance was also a site for Second Saturday Yoga Fest on June 10th, hosting early morning yoga in the Alliance Community Garden, with all proceeds supporting You Call this Yoga's work at Alliance, the Boys & Girls Club, and Lion's Park.  Thank you for those who attended the yoga sessions throughout the day, supporting our patients!

Zumba instuctor Paula Grabill and dancers grab some fresh veggies after a great workout!

Zumba instuctor Paula Grabill and dancers grab some fresh veggies after a great workout!


Zumba classes continue weekly, thanks to the volunteer support of Paula Grabill. Patients are breaking up a sweat with rigorous cardio workouts!  Many Zumba participants are moving on into our Summer Cooking Matters @ Alliance class.


Million Step Challenge Standings

In an upset, Team Joyner overtook Team Wasserman this month, which had be leading the entire challenge! Top performers for Team Joyner averaged over 24,000 steps EACH DAY. That's over 12 miles folks --  these challengers aren't playing around.

Here's what the most recent week looked like for our valiant teams:

Team Joyner: Average 14,212 steps/day/participant

Team Wasserman: Average 11,266 steps/day/participant

Team Burkhead: Average 8,753 steps/day/participant.

Much peace, love and good vibes!

Jesse Crouch, Garden and Wellness Program Coordinator

919-250-3320 x436