Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Events Raise $42,000 For America In Bloom

Three major fundraisers generated $42,000 for America In Bloom (AIB), a national campaign that connects people and plants on a grassroots level by engaging communities in a national competition. AIB helps improve the quality of life in cities and towns of all sizes and has proven to be a wonderful civic revitalization program. In seven years, AIB has engaged 165 communties in 37 states with a cumulative population of 21 million. Funds raised during Short Course will be earmarked for marketing - sharing success stories and planting pride in more communities.

The first event was the Ninth Annual Dramm/OFA 5K Relay For Floriculture on Saturday morning. Kurt Becker of Dramm reported a record high in participation - 15 relay teams and six walkers. Svensson Energy Conservation defended its first-place title, finishing the 5K in 22:17. Pictured from the left are Ed Lauer of Albert J. Lauer Inc., Scott Thompson of XS Smith, Clay Crider of CriderAmericas and Kurt Parbst of Ludvig Svensson. Right on their heels was TruLeaf Technology, finishing at 22:38. This was also a breakthrough year for Wadsworth Controls, finishing in third at 24:52.

This was the first time our parent company, Meister Media Worldwide fielded a relay team, although we have participated as walkers every year. We finished in a respectable sixth place at 25:42. Considering the first five teams were full of very serious runners, this was the best we could have hoped for. Pictured are Richard Jones, Rick Welder, Ann Reiss, Eric Baumann from Argus and Kevin Yanik. Reiss and Delilah Onofrey walked.

On Monday evening, D.S. Cole Growers held its Eighth Annual Hockey in Columbus event at The Dispatch Ice Haus, the practice rink for the Columbus Blue Jackets. This is where we normally see leading Canadian and northern U.S. hockey fans face off for the no-check, no-slap-shot event. Organizer Doug Cole has been very successful in securing sponsorship from allied industry companies to support the event and AIB. He is past president of OFA and has encouraged New England towns to participate in the contest.

Also Monday night, the three winning raffle tickets were drawn during our Medal of Excellence reception. AIB President Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Co. addressed the audience and thanked them for their support and asked those who haven't to consider it. More than 300 hundred-dollar tickets were sold. The winning tickets were:

$500 - Anthony Tesselaar Plants

$1,000 - Virginia Walter of California PolyTechnical Institute

$5,000 - Lisa Graf of Graf Growers

For more information on how you can get involved in AIB, visit

Another great opportunity to learn is to attend they annual awards symposium, which will be in Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 2-4. Thanks to all who supported the fundraisers and are already stewards of AIB. This program has accomplished a great deal on a shoestring budget and could do so much more with more resources.

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