This beloved family farm in Lawrence was destroyed by a tornado — here’s how you can help

In a matter of minutes, Deb and Jim Crum lost everything.

The couple own and operate Crum’s Heirloom Farm, which was devastatingly destroyed when an EF-4 tornado ripped through Bonner Springs earlier this week. Strong storms across the Midwest and the Plains have garnered waves of destructive tornadoes in Missouri and Kansas this spring, and area tornadoes have also touched down in Jefferson City, Linwood and just south of Lawrence.

Crums’ Heirloom is famed in the Kansas City metro. The odds that you’ve consumed Crums’ produce at some point are pretty high — the farm serves several Kansas City restaurants including Novel, Antler Room, Brewery Emperial and The Rieger.

Our June issue features a story about the Crum’s new collaboration with the excellent rural tavern in Myers Hotel, where they’d planned to sell produce every other Saturday,

Right now, the Crums family needs all the help they can get. A GoFundMe page has been started and the family has reached out on their Facebook page asking for the volunteers to assist with cleanup. It was also just announced that a benefit dinner for the Crums is being held at Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar on June 11.

Jax chef Bryan Sparks thought up the idea as soon as he had heard what happened to the Crums. Wanting to do something personal for the family, he reached out to fellow Kansas City-area chefs for help. The whole dinner idea escalated in a matter of 24 hours.

“I was expecting only a few chefs to respond, and a lot more did than I was expecting,” says Sparks.

Right now the event has 11 chefs contributing, making for a 10-course meal.

Tickets for the Crums benefit go on sale tonight. Keep an eye on Jax’s Facebook page for details.

“The Crums are such a beloved part of our community,” says Sparks. “This dinner just shows how important they are.”

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