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2012-03-26 at 15:05

The power of flower

By Jeff Labine,
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Helen Cote began to volunteer after cancer took the lives of her husband and daughter.

Cote first joined the Canadian Cancer Society more than a year ago. Her husband passed away in 1990, and then her daughter died in 2007. Amid the loss, Cote said she wanted to give back to the community she is a part of.

“It feels good,” Cote said. “When you give back and do something for other people and other organizations you feel good about yourself. That’s what it is all about for me.”

She spent Monday morning with other volunteers at the TbayTel warehouse wrapping and packaging about 7,000-flower bunches for the Great Wrap Off fundraising event.

She said it was a good job especially because she loves daffodils.

“You don’t work for many hours,” she said. “You work for maybe two or three hours and that’s just about right for us older people.”

She said she’s never given any of the daffodils out before but will start doing so this year.

Last year the Cancer Society rolled out the new daffodil pins with the possibility of replacing the flowers.

Maria Cabral, manager of Northwest communities for the Cancer Society, said it’s expensive to have the flowers come from British Columbia and added the shipping company doesn’t charge anything for its service.

With about $40,000 raised during the pilot project, Cabral said the first year of the pins was a big success.

“The flowers are expensive that’s why we’re leaning more toward the pin,” Cabral said.

“People still love the flowers. We did really well last year so we brought (the flowers) back again this year. There’s some discussion about phasing (the flowers) out just because of the cost. People take the flowers and although we love them we take them home and no one can see them. With the pin, people can wear them on their jackets.”

She said the flowers are only available until Sunday but the pins will continue to go on until the end of April.

Acting Mayor Paul Pugh wore his daffodil pin and announced that April will be Daffodil month. As a politician, Pugh said it’s important to show support for these kinds of initiatives.

“Because we are elected, we have more visibility so it’s an opportunity to promote causes that we think are worthy and this is certainly one of them,” Pugh said.

Flowers can be purchased at any LCBO in the city, Real Canadian Superstore, Intercity Shopping Centre and at any of the Canadian Tires. Flowers cost $7 for a bunch of 10 or $12 for two.

All locations are available online at

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