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Annual Daffodil Days are in bloom

Fundraiser: Deadline is March 1 to paint the town yellow with flowers and hope

Posted: February 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Daffodil Days 2011 co-chairs Ronda and Rory Bestle. The Bestles also volunteer for Relay For Life, which is the American’s Cancer Society’s signature outdoor team-walking fundraiser. That 24-hour event will be held the weekend of May 21-22 at Central Park in Saugus.

 

Daffodil Days, one of the American Cancer Society’s most popular annual fundraising campaigns, is currently underway.

Pre-orders for the cheerful yellow flowers are being taken through March 1 at local representative sites. On March 22, the flowers will be delivered courtesy of FedEx Ground.

One of spring’s first blooms, the daffodil is nature’s floral symbol of optimism and friendship. To the American Cancer Society — the largest private, not-for-profit funding source for cancer research — daffodils convey hope for those fighting cancer and for a cancer-free future.

Daffodil Days
“The American Cancer Society, which is also known as the ‘official sponsor of birthdays,’ honors cancer survivors with its Daffodil Days campaign, and we all get to be a part of it by buying flowers and spreading hope,” said Nancy Coulter, ACS SCV unit president.

“I personally give them to friends who have been touched by cancer or who have fought and won their battle and are now getting on with their lives, and celebrating every birthday with joy.”

Anyone can participate in Daffodil Days by purchasing the flowers, anonymously donating, and/or volunteering as rep sites for coordinating flower sales, Coulter said.

“Volunteers coordinate Daffodil Days in their companies, schools, neighborhoods, or places of worship by collecting orders and distributing bouquets,” she said.

Pricing
Daffodil Days prices are as follows: 10 stems (vase not included): $10

Sunshine: 10 stems in a clear glass half-liter carafe for $20

Vision: Two bouquets to be arranged as you wish in a clear six-inch glass vase for $35

Gift of Hope: $25, $50, $100, or other amount. As Gift of Hope deliveries are anonymous, donor names are not included with the bouquets. Also, the bouquets are not delivered to specific patients.

Bear of Hope: $25, $50, $100, or other amount. The plush bears are charming anonymous gifts for children receiving cancer care. Like Gifts of Hope, the bears do not have donor names, nor are they delivered to specific patients.

The 2010 Daffodil Days campaign raised more than $2.4 million for the ACS.

The proceeds support the American Cancer Society’s mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem by preventing the disease, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education and prevention efforts, and advocacy.

Bestles co-chair
American Cancer Society volunteers Ronda and Rory Bestle are co-chairs of this year’s Daffodil Days Campaign. Like many ACS volunteers, the Bestles started out helping with various ACS fundraising projects, and gradually, their involvement increased.

“We started doing Daffodil Days five years ago as volunteers,” Ronda recalled.

“It was an honor to be asked to co-chair the committee this year,” said Ronda, a cancer survivor and registered nurse who works at Kaiser Permanente. “Rory and I are happy to help the American Cancer Society in any way we can.
And, painting the town yellow makes everyone feel great.”

Relay for Life
The Bestles also volunteer for Relay For Life, which is the American’s Cancer Society’s signature outdoor team-walking fundraiser. The 24-hour event will be held the weekend of May 21-22 at Central Park in Saugus.

As a cancer survivor, Ronda understands the joy it brings to patients undergoing chemo or radiation and then receiving the American Cancer Society Daffodil Days Gift of Hope.

“Knowing so many people out there wish cancer survivors well on their journey is a great feeling,” said Ronda, who also serves on the ACS SCV Unit Leadership Council.

The Bestles head up the Kaiser Relay Team and last year started the inaugural Caregivers’ Corner which honors and celebrates all caregivers and the work they do on behalf of survivors, Coulter said.

“This year they continue their Helping Hands of Caregivers Corner, at Relay, which is being held on Saturday, May 21 at Central Park in Saugus. The ACS is so proud to have this hard-working couple in its volunteer force and we appreciate all they do for cancer awareness,” she said.

Coulter said when her mother battled breast cancer 50 years ago, “there was no Daffodil Days campaign.” 

“Every year I purchase a couple bouquets in honor of her survivorship,” Coulter said. “She eventually died from old age, but I put the daffodils on my coffee table and remember her battle with cancer every time I see them. Their cheerful, yellow color gives me hope that a cure for cancer will be found in our lifetime.”

The happy flowers also represent Coulter’s hope that her own daughter Heather Warrick, a cancer survivor who currently battling the disease, will benefit from that cure. 

“I thank the American Cancer Society for continuing such a wonderful tradition that gives cancer survivors and their families hope for a cancer-free world,” she said.

For Relay For Life information visit www.scvrelay.org.

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