Marcus Chapman was at a loss for words after looking at the oversized check in his name for more than $6,700.
The money was collected to help Chapman and his Windsor business, Chapman’s Produce, after the devastating hailstorm Aug. 3 that wiped out more than 80 percent of the gardens on his four-acre farm at 31985 Weld County Road 17 in Windsor.
Chapman’s Produce has been serving Windsor residents and customers from all across northern Colorado for 19 years, and one customer, Kay Carithers, wanted to make sure Chapman received some help in replanting and rebuilding the produce operation.
“It’s overwhelming. I can’t even describe in words the way I feel right now,” Chapman said. “I love this town. I love my customers. I feel so fulfilled. I’m like Jimmy Stewart in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ I’m the richest man on the face of the Earth.”
He added, “I don’t know how it could get any better. This has been so overwhelming that Kay took the lead and did this. I didn’t want anything to do with this. That’s not who I am.”
Carithers, Jennifer Wolfe-Weigel, Midge Miller and Ruth Wheeler of Resident Realty, a real estate company at Highland Meadows Parkway in Windsor, as well as Wimmer Roofing and Exteriors from Arvada came through on the business end. The four real estate agents donated $100 per home closing, and Wimmer donated $100 for every new roof it replaced in Windsor.
Along with those donations and money from Chapman’s customers, the check was written and presented recently to Chapman and his family — wife, Missy, and son, Robert — at Windsor State Bank, the bank that set up a special title account called Chapman’s Produce Thank You.
The hailstorm was a blow to Chapman’s crops, but he looks at it on the bright side.
“If anything, I think I’ve gained more of an appreciation for my customers than I would have ever had,” Chapman said. “I guess good comes out of everything. There are just so many people that offered to help. I’ve got to do one special shout out to the Timberline Church 6.8 Group. They sent out a whole army of volunteers right after the storm to help me clear the farm. They showed up with 30 people, and in three hours time we got done the amount of work that it would have taken me a month by myself.”
Chapman said it was still a successful season.
“My brother-in-law (Andy Anders), without Andy and his family, there would have never been a Chapman’s Produce,” Chapman said.
Anders Farm in Fort Lupton supplies sweet corn each year to Chapman, and also supplied a lot of other items after the hailstorm.
“He sent up whatever he could extra that he grew so I could keep our stand going,” Chapman said. “He really came through for me.”
Chapman said he plans to reinvest the more than $6,700 into the produce stand and make it a better place for everybody.
“That’s the only thing I’d feel right doing with it,” Chapman said. “It will go toward seeds and supplies for putting in the gardens. I’m hoping to be able to offer more products. This will go a long ways.”
Carithers of Windsor said Wimmer stepped up big with its donations from the roofs, and she said Rocky Mountain Lawn Medic in Windsor donated the oversized check.
“It was important to help keep Marcus in the community,” Carithers said. “He just works very, very hard. He’s just an old-time farmer who gives it all. I just felt like the community needed to give back. Everybody wants healthy, wonderful food and he raises it.”