Who We Are
As a family foundation, our mission is to “Serve, Encourage, and Educate Children and the Under-Served in their Spiritual, Community, and Human Development.”
We Are a Multi-Generational Family
Building on the mission of Ralph and Cheryl Broetje to found an apple orchard and use the profits to serve those in need
We Are Place-Based
Accompanying children, youth and parents in their own journeys to identify and pursue their dreams for the future
We Are Strategic Partners
Investing in a select group of faith-based, community-led initiatives pursuing holistic wellbeing and an empowered worldview
Ralph and Cheryl Broetje established Broetje Orchards in 1968, when they first settled onto a small cherry orchard in Benton City, Washington. As a teenager, Ralph had dreamed of one day owning an orchard and using profits to help children in need. While the work of starting a business was slow in the beginning, and they endured many challenges and tests along the way, people came around them in those early years to help make the dream a reality.
In 1982, the Broetje family moved to Prescott, Washington. The work remained focused solely on the growing of apples and cherries until 1987, when the decision was made to build our own packing line and shipping warehouse. This made 100 new jobs immediately available — many of which were filled by women. As we came to know these women, we began to hear more stories about their families.
As first generation immigrants from Mexico, they were strangers in a new land. Many were lonely and afraid, but they were also eager to find work. They had come with little more than the hope for a better life, for themselves and for their children. Upon arrival, they faced huge challenges — housing located in overcrowded and violent neighborhoods; lack of extended family to provide safe childcare; and high school drop-out rates hindering the potential of youth.
Reflecting on these needs, we established an on-site childcare center so that children would have a safe place to stay while their parents worked. Next we built a housing community, including over 120 single-family homes and apartments surrounding a gym, chapel, laundry, and convenience store. In 1991 the first families moved in. Residents held a contest that first year and named the community Vista Hermosa — ”beautiful view” — acknowledging the spirit of the place, grounded in a feeling of safety, peace, and tranquility.
Over the years, Vista Hermosa has become a place for thousands of people in a strange land to call home for a time, while they go about the work of healing, discovering new or latent gifts, and incubating dreams for the future. In turn, many of our residents have gone on to become stabilizers and leaders in other communities.
Our community has also become a model and host for ongoing dialogue around how to build resilient, flourishing communities. We have become part of a larger network of communities grounded in a spirit of compassion, acceptance, inclusion, and servant leadership.
Live life as God’s beloved son or daughter.
Help others discover and practice their purpose.
Teach, model and reward teamwork.
Board of Directors
Cheryl Broetje, President
Ralph Broetje, Vice President
Sandra Gamble, Secretary/Treasurer
Suzanne Broetje, Chair/Executive Director
Guadalupe Broetje, Scholars Programs Coordinator
Shelly Broetje, Bookkeeper/Administrator
Stefanie Morgan, Bookkeeper
Susan Dobkins, Programs Director
Christelle Gorman, Program Officer/International Grants
Tyler Broetje, Communications Coordinator