Daffodil Days convey symbol of hope for cancer patients

Daffodils will be springing up throughout Elk County beginning Tuesday, which marks the start of the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days event.From March 20-25, patrons may purchase daffodils at the following locations: St. Marys - Save-A-Lot grocery store, Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and at Walmart, Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Johnsonburg - the Old Brickyard from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; Ridgway - Ridgway BiLo, Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon; and at the Bennetts Valley Pharmacy on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.“It is amazing how much support this community has given to Daffodil Days over the past 38 years,” said Daffodil Days Chairperson Barb Handwerger. “Each day the American Cancer Society comes closer to help finding a cure for cancer, while serving the needs of those affected by the disease and educating the public so the rates of cancer incidence and mortality can decrease.”Daffodils are available by the bunch, which consists of 10 flowers, for a donation of $10, a special-edition vintage "Vase and a Bunch" for $15; or a mini-pot of daffodils for $12. This year marks the addition of Shar N. Hope, a Boyds teddy bear created especially for Daffodil Days. She is a 10-inch bear with brown eyes and a yellow felt daffodil tucked into her ear, as well as daffodils embroidered on one paw and the American Cancer Society logo embroidered on her second paw. The "Bear and a Bunch" is available for $25. As part of the 39th annual Daffodil Days, Handwerger has been working closely with Susan Babik of St. Marys, community income development specialist for the Cancer Society's East Central Division, which includes Elk County, as well as with fellow committee members Kathy Youngmark, Rose Wortman, Sue Caimi, Barb Lorow, Mary Maloney, Kellie Imbrogno, Patty Wickett, Martha Kinkead and Janet Allegretto, in organizing the event. Once again, Northwest Savings Bank is acting as the corporate sponsor for the 2012 American Cancer Society Daffodil Days. According to Babik, the local ACS chapter sold approximately 10,000 daffodils last year, along with several hundred mini-pots and 50 bears. She explained that many of the bears were purchased by local businesses and used as a donation to be given to a child when they are admitted to the emergency room or suffer a traumatic injury.Area businesses, schools, and civic organizations became involved with Daffodil Days by taking advance orders for flowers. Northwest Savings Bank contributed a monetary donation to help underwrite the cost of the flowers.Anyone who is interested in volunteering to help with the Elk County Daffodil Days campaign may contact Barb Handwerger at 781-7315, Kelly Imbrogno at 965-4457 or Susan Babik at 800-458-3856 Ext. 3507.As the first flower of spring, the daffodil represents the symbol of hope for cancer patients everywhere. Any support helps give life and hope to millions of Americans facing cancer.Pick up a copy of the Monday, March 19, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.