Daffodils uprooted as Cancer Society fundraiser PDF Print E-mail
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA Sentinel Lifestyles Editor   
Friday, 12 April 2013 09:34
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Nina Ogden, left, talking to Jessica Coats, sixth grade teacher at Otsego, during a Bagels for Bucks fundraiser at Otsego Elementary. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG - For 40 years, the American Cancer Society has been brightening area homes and workplaces with bouquets of bright yellow daffodils.
But the society's Wood County Unit this week confirmed that its longest-lasting - and arguably most popular - fundraiser has come to an end.
"This was our last celebration" of Daffodil Days, confirmed Anita Dunipace, ACS Northwest Ohio regional vice president, of the campaign that came very near to meeting its 2013 goal of $75,000.
"We're very close to it; a little way over $70,000."
Although most Ohioans didn't realize it, "many of the states were not participating in the daffodil program longer." In fact, the only areas still offering daffodil bouquets this year were the cancer society's east-central division, comprised of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and its northeast division.
It's probably no accident that these two regions are in a colder, snowy part of the country where the novelty of blooming daffodils in March is perhaps more appreciated than in warmer areas. 
But without the participation of all 50 states, "the buying costs were too high. Our buying ability wasn't there with the grower."
For that reason, the cancer society's national office "asked us to really think about the donor dollars being used wisely," said Dunipace, and the Ohio-Pennsylvania division "made the decision in cooperation with the national volunteer board" to discontinue Daffodil Days.
"I know a lot of people are sad to see it go," Dunipace admitted.
Dropping Daffodil Days "is a nationwide decision" rather than one emanating from Wood County, emphasized Becky Paskvan, a member of the Wood County Board for the American Cancer Society. "It's not because of lack of volunteers, or the price of gasoline to deliver the flowers" or any other speculation that has been circulating locally, she clarified.
Dunipace praised the "outstanding job" Sara Foos and the roughly 20 members of the county's daffodil volunteer committee did in making this final year a decided success.
"We probably utilized between 200 and 300 people" who volunteered to deliver bouquets and Project Care stuffed bears from March 18-20, Dunipace estimated.
Plans are already moving forward to identify ways to replace Daffodil Days on the local society's fundraising and events calendar.
"We're thinking of things we can do (that will) drive volunteers more toward things like Relay For Life and Making Strides," Dunipace said. "Some of the programs that have lower expense ratios."
There are many roles the erstwhile Daffodil Days volunteers can take on with one of the area Relay for Life races or the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program, for example, including sponsorships "and even volunteering with those committees. We can really use many of the people who volunteered with Daffodil Days."
The Northwest Ohio Making Strides walk is the next event coming up locally. It is slated for May 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the Town Center at Levis Commons in Perrysburg.
Anyone wishing to get involved with a cancer society volunteer program may call Foos in the Perrysburg office at (888) 227-6446, ext. 5209. For Making Strides information call Michelle Sprott at ext. 5206.
Nationwide, the American Cancer Society has a big birthday coming up. The organization will be celebrating its 100th anniversary on May 22. The Wood County ACS Board is planning to observe the centennial. Details will be announced closer to the date.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 April 2013 09:58
 

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