Chamber to launch ‘Project Petunia’

With spring in full swing, the local Chamber of Commerce will launch its annual beautification program, “Project Petunia,” this coming Friday.
Local residents and business owners are encouraged to drop by Robin’s Donuts at 2 p.m. to learn more about how to become a sponsor and sign up to be one if they choose.
The Chamber also is providing free coffee and doughnuts, as well as a raffle for a door prize.
“We’ll be encouraging people to sign up for sponsorship of the program,” said Chamber office manager Dawn Booth, adding that while the Chamber has be running the flower basket program for years, this is only the second year it has had a launch event.
“It was very successful last year. We were very, very pleased with the results,” noted Booth. “We actually got 14 new sponsors just from that half-hour we were at Robin’s, which is why we’re doing it again.
“We’re hoping for even better results this time around.”
“Project Petunia,” which was sponsored wholly by the Chamber in its first year, has seen generous support from the community over the past few years and last year was up to 76 sponsors.
“The majority of our five-year sponsors are up this year, so we’re encouraging those people to come back on board for at least another year, if not a five-year commitment,” Booth noted.
“We would really appreciate that,” she added. “With that sponsorship, we can continue to expand the project in years to come.”
Beyond just wanting to help beautify the town, some people sponsor the program in memory of loved ones or in lieu of giving a gift to someone on birthdays or even Mother’s Day.
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, with sponsors able to commit for a period of one-five years at a time if they choose. Some businesses and organizations also are multiple sponsors.
Multi-year sponsors can their pay their total donation up front or be billed annually.
The Chamber will be hanging 64 baskets in June to brighten up the stretch of King’s Highway from Tim Hortons to Central Avenue, then up Central Avenue to the Ontario Tourism Centre, as well as in the “gateway” area of town on Church Street and Mowat Avenue.
About 20 planters also will put out on the traffic islands at Central Avenue and further west (where Third Street West forks into the highway, and across from Tim Hortons), as well as two more in front of the Chamber office on the 400 block of Scott Street.
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.
For more information on the beautification project or to be a sponsor, come to the “Project Petunia” launch this Friday.
If you can’t make it, call Booth at 274-5773 or drop by the Chamber office at 474 Scott St. (across from Safeway).
As previously reported, town council agreed to have town employees water and fertilize the flowers during the summer months as it has in the past.
The Chamber will be getting flowers from Lowey’s Greenhouses. Lowey’s also puts the baskets up and takes them down, as well as stores them each winter.