By Diana Sevanian
Leadership Council Member, American Cancer Society SCV Unit
Daffodil Days Volunteer
One of spring's first blooms, the daffodil represents joy
and friendship. To the American Cancer Society – our nation's largest private,
not-for-profit source of funds for scientists researching cancer – daffodils convey
optimism for those fighting the disease, and for a cancer-free future.
To the ACS, they also represent an annual fund-and-hope
raising campaign known as Daffodil Days. Currently in bloom through Feb. 26,
Daffodil Days proceeds help support lifesaving ACS research, and prevention,
early detection, and support programs.
Community members can assist the ACS Santa Clarita Valley
Unit's Daffodil Days through the following:
Becoming a flower sales coordinator at a "representative
site" – such as your business, place of worship, school or other large
organization. There, you'll pre-sell flowers then submit the orders. The
daffodils, which arrive at Steve's Valencia Florist in Newhall on March 14 and
15, will be prepped according to order, delivered or picked up (depending on
size of order) on March 16 and 17.
Buy daffodils! Purchase these pretty yellow bundles as
spring décor for yourself or others. They also make a nice gift or token of
inspiration for someone battling any life challenge.
out the freshly-arrived daffodils to be made into individual orders.
Each year, Steve Hanauer of Steve's Valencia Florist generously donates
his Newhall flower shop for use in the American Cancer Society's floral
fundraiser. (Photo by Diana Sevanian)
Daffodil package prices are as follows:
10 stems, vase not included: $10
"Sunshine" package of 10 stems and 7-inch ocean-blue acrylic
"Vision" package of two bouquets in a purple cylindrical
6.75-inch glass vase: $35
"Bear and a Bunch," Boyd's Collection Ltd. Carrie N. Hope
exclusively designed Daffodil Days 2009 bear with a bouquet of 10 daffodils in a
Give Gifts of Hope: These anonymous donations allow the ACS
to deliver daffodils to local cancer patients and bring cheer to their day.
(Suggested minimum is $25, but larger amounts are greatly appreciated.) Thanks to community generosity, 450 Gifts of
Hope were delivered to SCV patients in 2008.
"Because of these special donations, ACS SCV Unit volunteers
were able to deliver 450 Gifts of Hope to patients in Santa Clarita in 2008,"
said ACS SCV Unit Health Programs Manager Heather Warrick, who has been
battling recurrent metastatic breast cancer for more than 15 years.
Giving the Gift of Hope is not only a gift to a survivor,
but a gift to yourself, said Nancy Coulter, Warrick's mother and ACS SCV Unit
volunteer and past president.
"It feels so good knowing that because you reached out,
someone on their cancer journey smiled when they were told, ‘Someone in your
community wants you to know they wish you well and are thinking about you!'"
Coulter said. "We all have much to be thankful for and by participating in
Daffodil Days you are saying you want to share that good feeling with someone
who needs a bright spot in their day."
An oncology patient in the hospital receives an anonymous Gift of Hope surprise. Because of these selfless donations, ACS SCV Unit volunteers were able to deliver 450 Gifts of Hope in Santa Clarita last year. (Photo courtesy of American Cancer Society)
Volunteer! Help is needed preparing and delivering daffodil
orders (including Gift of Hope deliveries to local healthcare facilities), and
dispensing free ACS information.
"The excitement and hope is definitely evident each year when
the daffodils arrive at Steve's Valencia Florist and we all spring into action,"
Warrick said. "Everyone helps out, whether it's preparing the orders, or getting
them out into the community. We all work together as a dedicated team to help
fight cancer and have a great time in the process."
Fighting the war against cancer is mighty battle to uphold:
In 2008, approximately 142,000 people heard the words, "You have cancer," while
some 54,000 died from the disease. The lifetime risk for getting cancer is
high; one out of every two males, and one out of every three females, will
receive that diagnosis. Consequently, whether it's you, me, or our family
members or friends, cancer eventually touches everyone.
Since Daffodil Days' 1973 inception, nearly $250,000 million
in gross revenue has been raised. Last year, the SCV campaign brought in more
than $ 40,000; the 2009 target is $50,000.
Do consider helping the ACS SCV Unit realize that worthy
"There are still almost two weeks left in this Daffodil Days
campaign, and that's plenty of time to get involved," Warrick said. "Purchase daffodils! Become a rep site
volunteer! Make Gift of Hope donations! Whatever you do to support Daffodil
Days brings the ACS that much closer to finding a cure for cancer while
continuing its invaluable programs and services!"
For further information about Daffodil Days go to www.cancer.org/daffodils or call the
ACS-SCV Unit at (661)-298-0886, option 3.