*This fundraising campaign was created to raise funds for the Cadonau family's legal fight to STOP the sale of Alpenrose to Smith Brothers. All funds raised will be paid directly to the legal team representing them.*
Please support the Cadonau family as they fight to save Alpenrose, their 100-year-old family dairy. At this most critical juncture, we must all come together to rally support through generous donations in order to #savealpenrose, or this invaluable treasure will be lost forever.
Alpenrose is not just a business; it is a rich part of Portland’s history and a cornerstone of the local community that employs approximately 150 people, many of whom have been part of the Alpenrose family for decades, and all of whom are dedicated to keeping high-quality Alpenrose products stocked in local stores every day. For decades, Alpenrose has generously hosted community events such as Christmas in Dairyville and the annual Easter Egg Hunt. Alpenrose and the Cadonau family have always made these events free to the community, carrying on a tradition of supporting the community that’s as old as the dairy. Many local groups and national organizations, such as Little League Baseball and Softball, Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA), Portland Quarter Midget Racing Association (PQMRA), 4-H, local theatre and choir groups, schools, and model train clubs, to name a few, use the facilities throughout the year at no cost, and have come to call Alpenrose their home. That includes the Little League Softball World Series (LLSWS) which just concluded its 26th series at Alpenrose which was broadcast on ESPN, bringing together teams and families from across the nation and international teams from the Philippines, Victoria B.C., Mexico City and Italy. Little League International has expressed that it would like Alpenrose to continue hosting the LLSWS for the next 25 years and beyond!
Alpenrose is the manifestation of the hopes and dreams of a family whose mission has always been to generously give back to the community, to provide an environment where the community can come together and support each other, and to provide a place where kids and adults can recreate using the dairy’s facilities, or just walk their dogs through the parklike setting. In fact, did you know that the great Dale Murphy and Darwin Barney grew up playing baseball at Alpenrose before realizing their dreams of becoming Major League Baseball superstars? They both still have a great affinity for Alpenrose to this day!
Unfortunately, there are four owners (Rod Birkland, Wendell Birkland, Barbara Deeming and Anita Cadonau-Huseby) who do not share in that vision, and who have decided that selling the dairy to a company that would only operate here short term is in their best interest so that they can then sell the 52-acre parcel on which the business is located. Those individuals would prefer to “cash out” and walk away, with no concern about the adverse impact that the sale to an out-of-state company (Smith Brothers Farms) would have on the community, the employees, local dairy farmers, and the members of the Cadonau family who continue to operate the dairy.
In an effort to #savealpenrose, Carl Cadonau III, Cary Cadonau and Tracey Cadonau McKinnon, who are the great-great grandchildren of Florian Cadonau who started the dairy in 1891, have been working tirelessly since about November 2018 to get their aunts and uncles to sell to them instead of outside the family in order to keep the long-term lease in place and ensure the continuation of the business, events, activities and community access to the land.
To that end, they filed suit in February 2019 which led to a termination of the first effort to sell to Smith Brothers Farms (click here for that document) . Unfortunately, the aunts then filed a legal action on May 31 seeking an arbitration decision that Carl, Cary and Tracey are not able to block a sale to a third party (click here for that document). That arbitration proceeding is ongoing and costs significant amounts to defend against. Then on August 16, Carl, Cary and Tracey were forced to filed suit against their uncles and aunts based on their refusal to accept their purchase offer which is economically greater than the Smith Brothers Farms offer (click here for that document) . That lawsuit alleges that the uncles and aunts have breached their fiduciary duties as directors by agreeing to accept an inferior offer, all out of spite, greed and malice, in an effort to get rid of the long-term lease so they can then sell the land which is much more valuable than the business.
The Cadonaus were preparing to seek an emergency injunction which ultimately resulted in a court-approved agreement on August 16 putting a temporary halt on the sale to Smith Brothers Farms and setting a September 11 court date to determine whether that order will be extended throughout the duration of the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Rod Birkland has been spinning the proposed sale in the media as if it’s a done deal, and that somehow a sale to Smith Brothers Farms would be good for the community and employees – nothing could be further from the truth.
The Cadonaus’ mission is to purchase the dairy business and honor their grandfather’s dying wish that the dairy remains a family-run business and community staple. At great personal sacrifice they have demonstrated that they are willing to do whatever it takes to maintain operations and keep the community events going, but it has been and will continue to be extremely costly to continue fighting this most-important battle on multiple litigation fronts.
The goal is that we, the community that has enjoyed all that Alpenrose has done for us all for decades, can stand with the Cadonaus in this fight and assist with their legal and professional expenses in order to maximize the opportunity for a successful resolution. And by community, we of course mean not only the local community, but those who are located regionally, nationally and even internationally, who either know and love Alpenrose personally, or who have not heard of Alpenrose before but are touched by this iconic institution and what the Cadonaus are attempting to do to preserve it.
If you have ever purchased a carton of Alpenrose milk, you may have noticed the phrase, “It’s Family” printed on it. That statement has been the driving force behind the Cadonaus’ fight to save the dairy. Please join us now by giving generously to help preserve Alpenrose Dairy for future generations. 100% of all contributions will be used to cover legal and professional expenses incurred to #savealpenrose If contributions exceed those expenses, 100% of the excess will be used to make improvements to community facilities such as Dairyville, the race tracks and ball fields. If a sale to Smith Brothers actually happens, any excess contributions would be donated to Portland Parks and Recreation.
*This campaign was created by two friends of the Cadoanaus' and was done so with their blessing. If you have any concerns over the authenticity of this campaign, please email [email redacted]*
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