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Cold Snap In Texas Affects B-N Flower Sale

Cathy Oloffson
Sale Co-Chair Julia Turner pictured. The sale will follow all health and safety guidelines. Bloomington Kiwanis is asking people to wear masks, watch their distance and follow safety protocols.

Expected turnout for next month’s Bloomington Kiwanis Mother’s Day Flower Sale is much higher because 2020's sale was canceled, but some supply is limited.

Event spokesperson Cathy Oloffson said the early birds will get the worm. The event is May 5-8.

“We're encouraging people to come out early, come out on Wednesday or Thursday. Don't wait until Saturday. Certainly, we'll still have some stuff on Saturday, but the earlier the better,” said Oloffson.

The flowers are provided by Wendell Niepagen Greenhouses, whose suppliers have been impacted by the cold weather in Texas in February. According to the Columbia Climate School, millions lost power and the ability to heat their homes. Roads iced over, pipes burst, and failing water mains left many without safe drinking water.

“We are going to take whatever flowers and plants and herbs and vegetables that we can get, but it is our understanding that supplies are somewhat limited,” said Oloffson.

Credit Cathy Oloffson
Membership in Kiwanis and its family of clubs is more than 600,000 members.

The sale’s white tents will be located between Yankee Candle and Ann Taylor Loft at the Shoppes at College Hills in Normal.

“People who come to shop at the flower sale can expect to see what they have seen in years past. We were sad that we weren't able to host the sale in 2020 because of COVID,” said Oloffson. “But in 2021, our patrons can come again and purchase hanging baskets, patio pots, annual fillers, vegetables, and succulents.”

Master Gardeners like Barb Wells also will be on site to help those with a not-so-green thumb.

“They help people understand what plants may do best in shady areas versus sunny areas. They can help people with their vision for a particular area, like what kinds of plants and flowers may do well in their respective yards,” said Oloffson.

Camp Limberlost

All the proceeds from the annual sale go to hosting Camp Limberlost that was founded in 1931 by The Pantagraph and then was taken over by the Bloomington Kiwanis club in 1940. Camp Limberlost is internationally recognized as the oldest continuous project in all of Kiwanis International.

Kiwanis International is an international service club founded in 1915 in Detroit.

“It's something that's just near and dear to our hearts and helping local kiddos who might not otherwise have the chance to enjoy camp,” said Oloffson. “And does so free of charge.”

Unit 5 educators will soon be selecting more than 100 children, ages 8 to 10, for a camp experience.

Oloffson said one of the goals is to get kids to enjoy the outdoors, but do so in a positive, social and interactive way through a variety of activities.

“The educators who work with these children every day are the ones best suited to decide who would benefit from that the most,” said Oloffson. “I know the Bloomington-Normal community will respond well and help raise funds for Camp Limberlost and other programs for deserving young children. The fact that they can do that by purchasing flowers and vegetables for their own enjoyment is just a win-win for everyone.”

This year the Mother’s Day Flower Sale fundraising event is from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on:

  • Wednesday, May 5
  • Thursday, May 6
  • Friday, May 7
  • Saturday, May 8

The sale is closed on Sunday.

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