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Give hope with ACS Daffodil Days

Annual cancer fundraiser will run through March 1

Posted: February 17, 2010 9:29 p.m.
Updated: February 18, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Agnes Russell, left, and Heather Warrick display bears and daffodils that are available during the 2010 Daffodil Days campaign running through March 1 in the Santa Clarita Valley to benefit the American Cancer Society.

 
It’s time again to paint the Santa Clarita Valley yellow with hope. To do so, everyone — from school children to corporate CEOs — is being asked to support the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days 2010 campaign. Volunteer coordinators are needed to assist in taking requests for, packing and delivering the fresh-cut daffodils during February and March.

“Daffodil Days is the perfect way to fight cancer within our community,” said Tameka Payne, ACS community director. “Daffodils can be sold in businesses, schools, places of worship, neighborhoods, and shared with friends and family.”

By selling, and, of course, purchasing, the sunny flowers — which are one of spring’s first blooms and fondly associated with hope and renewal — the funds raised do many positive things, Payne said.

“The ACS can continue its lifesaving work to help those touched by cancer, empower people to fight back against this disease, and save more lives,” Payne said, adding that in 2009 more than $2.6 million was raised nationwide through Daffodil Days.

Donations, she said, provide the ACS with much-needed dollars to help people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking research (the ACS has 44 Nobel laureates to date — a record that stands alone in the nonprofit sector) and by providing services to help individuals in their battles with cancer.

The American Cancer Society — also referred to as the “Official Sponsor of Birthdays” — is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization. Headquartered in Atlanta, and with more than 3,400 offices, the ACS is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.

Daffodil bouquets can be purchased as gifts for oneself, family, friends, co-workers, or anyone else you want to share their symbolic beauty with. They can also be bought as caring “Gifts of Hope,” then delivered anonymously to cancer patients in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and treatment centers. In 2009 more than 20,000 Gifts of Hope were delivered throughout California.

“The Gift of Hope, which helps fund cancer research, education, local patient services, and advocacy efforts, is a unique gift you give to a cancer survivor as well as to yourself,” said Nancy Coulter, a longtime ACS Santa Clarita Valley Unit volunteer and ACS past president. “The feeling of reaching out anonymously and letting a cancer survivor know they are not alone — that there is someone in their community who wants them to get better, it is just so heart-warming and meaningful.”

Coulter intimately understands the need for hope when cancer enters one’s life.

Her own daughter, Heather Warrick, has been living with advanced-stage breast cancer for more than 16 years, with metastatic sites including her vertebrae, ribs, brain, femurs, hips, eye, and other areas. Despite the immense physical and emotional weight of her ongoing battle and treatments, Warrick faithfully works for the American Cancer Society SCV Unit as its Health Programs Manager — and supports the fight against cancer each day with optimism and courage.

Daffodil Days is a significant part of that mission, Warrick said.

“Daffodil Days brings hope and awareness to the community. It means another step towards finding a cure,” Warrick said. “What better way to bring a smile to a patient?”

In addition to the sunny daffodils, the 2010 Daffodil Days campaign also offers cuddly and adorable limited-edition Boyd’s by Enesco “Birthdays R. Hope” bears and “Bears of Hope.”

Price List:
* Bouquet of 10 daffodils $10 (No vase)

* Vision: Two bouquets to arrange as you wish in a clear, 6.5-inch square flared vase $35

* Sunshine: Ten daffodils featured in a 7-inch glass teal colored vase” $20

* Bear and a Bunch: A 10-inch oatmeal-colored Boyds by Enesco plush bear named Birthdays R. Hope created exclusively for the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days. Bear and a Bunch includes one Birthdays R. Hope Bear and one bunch of 10 fresh cut daffodils, $25

* Gift of Hope: Delivered as anonymous gifts to cancer patients, the Gift of Hope carries a suggested minimum donation of $25. (Donations of $50, $75 or $100 will help support greater numbers of cancer patients and their families.)

* Bear of Hope: Part of the ACS’ expanded Gift of Hope line, this soft Boyds bear can be given anonymously to pediatric cancer patients. The Bear of Hope is a minimum $25 donation and will be delivered by American Cancer Society volunteers to children in the community who are receiving cancer care.

American Cancer Society volunteer Agnes Russell encourages community members to support Daffodil Days.

“I am a 10-year breast cancer survivor so I know about the fear and helplessness you feel when going through cancer,” she said.

“What better way to bring rays of sunshine to those going through chemotherapy than with a lovely bouquet of daffodils? These are like rainbows of hope.”

The Daffodil Days order submission deadline is March 1. Distribution day is March 23; pickup day is March 24 (at Steve’s Valencia Florist in Newhall). Orders of $150 and more will be delivered by FedEx. Volunteers are also needed for days of distribution and pickup.

For information or Daffodil Days coordinator materials call (877) 642-4982 or email CADaffodilDays@cancer.org. The American Cancer Society Santa Clarita Valley Unit can be reached at (661) 298-0886 option 3, www.cancer.org.

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