Vicki Brown, the founder and CEO of Sowing Seeds for Life, has been bestowed with many honors. One she will always cherish came in 2011 when she was named that year’s winner of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank’s prestigious Tony Collier Award for her dedicated commitment in the fight against hunger.
Sowing Seeds for Life is one of the some 50 food banks located in California. SSFL, as it is known for short, distributes food to the needy on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 3 to 5 p.m. in the parking lot of DPI Labs, located at 1350 Arrow Highway in La Verne. The charity also distributes food at other locations in the East San Gabriel Valley are various times and provides a variety of services to the needy as well.
Brown, who is also CEO and president of DPI Labs, an aerospace manufacturing company, was presented the award by Elizabeth Cervantes, the public relations director of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
Brown was selected for the award because of all of her untiring work in growing Sowing Seeds for Life over the past four years, Cervantes said, adding that Brown has also been very helpful in assisting the 38-year-old L.A. Regional Food Bank.
The L.A. food bank was founded in 1973 by Collier, who at the time was a cook for a charitable organization. Sometimes the food donations exceeded what was needed, so Collier set up a food bank known as the Grandview Foundation in his two-car garage in Pasadena.
The food bank soon moved into a 2,600 square-foot dry cleaning facility on Fair Oaks and then to a 10,000 square-foot warehouse in El Monte in 1983. It changed its name to Los Angeles Regional Food Bank in 1986, and in 1989 moved to its current location in a 96,000 square-foot building at 1734 East 41st Street, south of downtown Los Angeles.
Sowing Seeds for Life also had a modest beginning in December 2007, feeding some 100 people per month. It now feeds more than 6,000 people per month and also operates a community farm in the San Dimas Canyon.
One of SSFL’s major giveaways is its annual “Christmas in the Park” event at Ganesha Park in Pomona.
The photo accompanying this article shows Vicki with two volunteers at the 2012 “Christmas in the Park.” The volunteers are Sean Herbert of Seattle and Don Sortland of Jamestown, N.D, who both work for Sands Aviation and were in the area on assignment. Sands is affiliated with DPI Labs.
Brown said SSFL is in need of a bigger facility and is seeking funds to build one on the DPI Labs property. A key fundraiser for SSFL is its annual golf tournament. The 2013 edition of the tournament, which in the past has drawn some of the biggest names in sports, will be held Oct. 7 at Glendora Country Club.
Past guests have included Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, James Worthy, Bill Sharman, former Dodger Bill Russell, Jim Harrick, Trevor Denman, Kings TV announcer Bob Miller, Roy Firestone and many more.
This year’s tournament will feature Dodger legends Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Bill Russell taking part in an evening panel discussion moderated by L.A. Times sports columnist Bill Dwyre of San Dimas. Other celebrities include UCLA football announcers Chris Roberts and Matt Stevens. Roberts, of Glendora, will serve as the event’s auctioneer. Legendary jockeys Laffit Pincay Jr. and Mike Smith have also said they plan to be at the tournament.
It promises to be another outstanding event.