Gary West Original Steak Strips is among the 110 finalists for the 2012 sofi awards to be presented at the Summer Fancy Food Show June 17-18, in Washington, D.C.

Jacksonville beef jerky firm a finalist for '12 sofi awards

Gary West Original Steak Strips is among the 110 finalists for the 2012 sofi awards to be presented at the Summer Fancy Food Show June 17-18, in Washington, D.C.

The Jacksonville jerky maker will enter its Wagyu (Kobe) beef line in the second part of the entry process.

There were 1,935 entrants in the sofi competition across 30 categories. Gold winners will be determined by about 300 food buyers.

The Heart of Medford Association has hired Avant Marketing Group of St. Louis to develop a brand platform, name and tagline for the downtown Medford business district.

The $1,500 contract is the first in a series HMA will put out in its efforts to heighten awareness for its 30 restaurants, retailers and service businesses, said HMA Executive Director Diane Raymond.

Avant will analyze existing research to develop a brand platform for the business district, leading to the creation of a long-term identity for marketing efforts.

Elmer's restaurants in Medford, Grants Pass and Roseburg helped raise $23,446 for the Children's Cancer Association through the 2012 Hearts of Joy campaign.

Money raised through the campaign supports CCA's programs and services, improving the quality of life for critically ill children, teens and their family members.

Families affected in Southern Oregon generally spend a lot of time traveling to and from the Portland area for treatments.

The Elmer's team members encouraged dining guests to donate by purchasing a $1 Heart of Joy or a $5 Heart of Joy.

MEDFORD — Providence Community Health Foundation will offer a free, 90-minute seminar touching on the basics of wills and estate planning from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, at Mary Norbert Hall on the Providence Medford Medical Center campus, 1111 Crater Lake Ave. (Correction: The date of the seminar has been corrected in this story.)

Todd Maddox from Brophy Schmor Brophy Paradis Maddox & Weaver will discuss advantages and disadvantages of wills and living trusts, probate versus nonprobate property, estate taxes, advance directives and powers of attorney.

For reservations, call Providence Community Health Foundation at 541-732-5193.

MEDFORD — Oregon Seafoods of Coos Bay has introduced Chef's Brand Pacific Caught Wild Albacore, a premium wild albacore tuna product.

Chef's Brand is a recipient of the National Restaurant Association's 2012 Food and Beverage Product Innovations Award.

Chef's Brand Pacific Caught Wild Albacore 2-pound and 4-pound pouches are being marketed to grocery and specialty food store delis, as well as to the hospitality industry.

Oregon Seafood products are sold at 150 specialty food stores and nationally through independent retailers such as REI.

Compiled from wire reports