All good things that have a beginning also have an end, and so it goes for Daffodil Days.
Recently a group of local volunteers met to prepare and deliver hundreds of daffodils sold to area community members as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (ACS) for the last time. According to Daffodils Chair Cathy Michaelson, the ACS has decided to end the program in favor of more lucrative money makers that are not so labor intensive, such as Relay for Life.
The program has had a good run. For 40 years it has served as one of the ACS’s most popular fundraisers, raising $17 million nationally in 2012 alone, and inspiring the likes of Juliet Mortenson, who took up the torch as one of the key promoters in instituting the program locally roughly 20 years ago.
Early records of the local organization have been lost to tim, but at its peak Michaelson said that the effort generated $7,000 in local contributions. Over the course of the last few years, however, that number has dipped to about $5,000.
Mortenson served as the Chair of Granite Falls’ Daffodil Days up until 2002 when the reigns were handed over to Ruby Heib. Heib, in turn, led the effort until 2010 before Paul and Cathy Michelson were recruited to carry on the tradition.
While disappointed to see the end of Daffodil Days, Cathy Michaelson emphasized that people could still support the cancer’s society mission to help to fund cancer research, provide up-to-date cancer information and education, advocate for public policies that benefit the community, and provide services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
“It would be fantastic if those who supported Daffodil Days will now give that same money in support of Relay for Life,” she said. “An automatic increase of $5,000 in Relay receipts would be much appreciated.