Caring Rose Week is November 12-17

Caring Rose Week is November 12-17 With the third annual Caring Rose Week drawing near, Willson Florist and North American Wholesale of Sioux Falls are getting ready to help out the Vermillion community.

Caring Rose Week is a program that offers floral customers a dozen roses for $10 when they donate two cans of food to the local food pantry. All the customer has to do is bring two cans of food and $10 to Willson Florist, place the order and then pick up the roses during the week of Nov. 12-17.

Last year Willson Florist ordered 120 dozen roses and collected over 275 cans of food for the Vermillion Food Pantry. Overall in the six-state area of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming, over 285 florists have ordered 22,840 dozen roses for Caring Rose Week in 2001.

"Roses, which came from Quito, Ecuador, for customers were a good deal and helped others put food on the table," said Harry Whelden, general manager of North American Wholesale. "Everyone wins in this situation. There are winners all the way through."

The roses were delivered at a reasonable rate because of the 90 to 100 day crop in Ecuador.

"This promotion allowed the farmers to use their product," said Whelden. "The sale of roses is usually down this time of the year until Valentine's Day. This allowed the farmers a chance to sell their product and not discard it."

Since the first Caring Rose Week in November of 1999 was such a big success, Willson Florist and North American Wholesale joined forces for the event again this year. In 1999 the five-state area generated over 27,000 cans of donated food and 200 florists took part in the special promotion. During the 1999 promotion 13,500 dozen roses were distributed to the retail florists. In 2000 21,000 dozen roses were distributed and over 17 tons of food were donated.

The Vermillion Food Pantry is always looking for donations to help out the Vermillion community; so far they have served 920 people at the pantry this year, and Willson Florist wants to help. The food pantry is located in Trinity Lutheran Church on East Clark Street.

According to Keith Joy, president of Vermillion Food Pantry, these items are currently needed: chili, chili beans, soda crackers, macaroni and cheese, Hamburger Helper, hand soap, a variety of cream soups and toilet paper.

Those in need of food from the pantry may obtain a referral form from any pastor or clergy member in the community or from the Department of Social Service on Court Street.

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