Final ‘Marzie Days’ to be held Saturday

Sam Odrowski

One grandmother has grown and sold thousands of plants over the last six years to give back to an organization that gives so much to her grandchild.

Since first hosting the sale, Barb Redford has raised over $35 thousand for the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation in Winnipeg.

The organization cares for her granddaughter, Mara Raimondi, who has a very rare chromosome abnormality called “18 p deletion.”

“I’m just trying to give back for what they give us,” Redford said.

“They make my daughter’s life easier and if you make my daughter’s life easier, I will certainly try to help yours.”

This Saturday (May 25) at 9 a.m., Redford will be holding the seventh and final “Marzie Days” plant sale fundraiser where roughly 3,000 plants will be sold along with homemade baking, hot coffee, and a BBQ lunch.

She said she now has to step away from the plant sale as it has become to large for her to carry forward every year.

“Now that we got the word out, we’re getting bigger all the time but we’ve got too big for me and that’s the sad part,” she explained. “I’m not setup for the size that we’ve become.

“It’s wonderful but it’s also sort of a double-edged sword,” Redford added.

She said if she was younger and in good health, she’d make the plant sale as big as possible but planting over 1,000 plants each year has become too much work for one person undertake.

Redford noted the support from her neighbours and the community at large is what has made “Marzie Days” such a great success over the years,

“I want to thank everybody because from the start . . . I’ve always had backing, no matter how strange the request, no matter what we needed it was always supplied for us,” she remarked.

“It truly amazes me that people have came forward to help,” Redford added. “We have the best friends in the world.”

From helping to build her greenhouses to providing supplies for display tables and hanging baskets, Redford’s neighbours keep her overhead costs minimal.

To purchase a portion of the plants for this year’s sale, her neighbor donated over $2,500 that he made from a garage sale.

The Emo and District Lions Club even donated $250 to help Redford fundraise.

Last year she raised about $9,800 through “Marzie Days” and this year her goal is to make $10,000, which will be matched by Great West Life dollar for dollar to double the fundraising impact.

Redford’s target is to move all 3,000 plants, of which she has grown half in makeshift greenhouses, since the end of January.

When the sale first started, she said they made less than a $1,000 and just sold a handful of plants from her front porch.

The sale has since ballooned into a community gathering, attracting about 200 people from across the district.

“It’s a lot of support we’ve got over the [years],” Redford lauded. “It just amazes me what people will do.”

Redford would like to thank all her neighbours who have helped over the years and is grateful to anyone who comes out to support “Marzie Days.”

“Come and see us. It’s going to be a nice day,” she enthused.

“You can come out . . . have a cup of coffee, and see some people you haven’t seen all winter.”