Sponsors sought for flower program

While it will be a little while yet before colourful blooms appear in Fort Frances, the local Chamber of Commerce already has flowers on the brain as it gears up for its annual beautification program.
Chamber office manager Dawn Booth said yesterday the Chamber will be hanging up 50 baskets in June—10 more than last year—to brighten up the stretch of King’s Highway from Tim Hortons to Central Avenue, and then up Central Avenue to the Ontario Tourism Centre.
There also will be 18 planters put out on the traffic islands at Central Avenue, plus one new planter on the small traffic island across from Tim Hortons.
The Chamber’s beautification project is meant to complement that of the local Business Improvement Association, which includes flower baskets on the 100, 200, and 300 blocks of Scott Street, as well as benches and trash cans.
But beauty has its price and the Chamber needs community support to keep the program going.
“We try to add more baskets every year to keep expanding it,” noted Booth. “But we need money to do that, and that’s where the sponsors come in.”
Booth said the program, which was sponsored wholly by the Chamber in its first year, has seen generous support from the community over the past few years.
The second year, for instance, saw 50 sponsors (mostly local businesses) while 2003 and 2004 saw more and more individuals sponsoring the baskets.
The program currently has 65 sponsors, with Booth adding the Chamber has a goal of getting a total of 75 during this sponsorship push.
Booth said people sponsor the program in memory of loved ones, in lieu of giving a gift to someone on birthdays, or at Easter and Mother’s Day, or just to help beautify the town.
She noted the Chamber’s long-term goal is to have flower baskets lining a route from Sunset Country Ford in the west end to the east end of Scott Street at the upper Rainy River.
But, of course, this all depends on sponsors.
Booth said sponsors should know that money donated does not go towards a specific basket or planter, but towards the cost of the program as a whole.
The cost is $50 per year, and sponsors can commit for a period of one to five years at a time if they choose.
For more information on the beautification project, or to be a sponsor, call Booth at 274-5773 or drop by the Chamber office at 474 Scott St. (across from Safeway).
In related news, council agreed at its Feb. 28 meeting to once again have town employees water and fertilize the flowers during the summer months as it has in the past.
Booth also noted the Chamber will be working in co-operation with the local “Communities in Bloom” committee on any initiative they may choose to do this year.