Broetjes to be honored with leadership award

Ralph and Cheryl Broetje, owners of Broetje Orchards, will be honored Thursday with the Sam Volpentest Leadership Award.

The announcement of the award will be part of the6 p.m. reception for the incoming Leadership Tri-Cities class at the Holiday Inn Express, at 4525 Convention Place in Pasco.

The Broetjes are being honored for their leadership in corporate social responsibility and for the tangible results of their commitment to "servant leadership."

Broetje Orchards, the largest employer in Walla Walla County, has invested millions in affordable housing for low-income families and donates 50 percent of its profits.

The Vista Hermosa Foundation, created by the Broetje family, has donated more than $50 million to support rural and agricultural development, education and leadership training in developing countries in the last 20 years.

The award was instituted in 1999 to recognize community leaders who make a difference, and Tri-City booster Sam Volpentest was its first recipient.