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35th annual Hospice Spring Bouquet Sale kicks off this week in Western New York

To date, the annual flower fundraiser has raised $6.6 million to fund Hospice programs in Western New York.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Spring is technically still a few weeks away, but brightly colored flowers will be all over Western New York as Hospice and Palliative Care Buffalo kicks off its largest fundraiser of the year.

The sale is two weeks this year and runs March 1 thru March 13.

This year marks the 35th year for the Hospice Spring Bouquet Sale. Various businesses, schools, and organizations sell bouquets on behalf of Hospice. The money raised goes to support Hospice programs at their Como Park location, in nursing homes, and as part of home care services.

This year, due to the pandemic, Hospice is adding flower trucks that will travel to various locations across the area for safe, socially distant flower sales.

"We will have four flower trucks in motion across Western New York, going to all of these different businesses, hospitals, organizations, and we will be selling safely in a parking lot," said Emily Carrier, Hospice special events manager.

You can also buy bouquets at participating florists.

Ten-stem bouquets are $10 each, and tribute bouquets are $30. For each tribute bouquet sold, a regular bouquet will be donated to a Hospice patient.

This past weekend, a small group of Hospice staff members were busy at a warehouse in Orchard Park prepping the flowers for delivery. In a normal year, there would be hundreds of volunteers doing that work. Operations were scaled back and safety measures were put in place due to the pandemic.

Cathy McGovern was among those helping out. She's the owner of Trillium's Courtyard Florist in Amherst. She and her husband started the spring bouquet sale 35 years ago in honor of her late father-in-law.

The first year, they raised $5,000 for Hospice. To date, they've raised $6.6 million.

"Thirty-five years is a long time for an event to continue, and the amount it has grown over the years is absolutely wonderful. It says a lot about Hospice and how important Hospice is to our community," said McGovern.