In the lead up to Daffodil Day on Friday, August 28 this year the Stratford Press is running a series of columns from Raewyn Rooney, chairperson of the Stratford Daffodil Day committee.
In her first column, Raewyn talks about the history of Daffodil Day and how the fundraising directly helps Taranaki people.
From a humble street appeal, Daffodil Day has expanded to become a highly-organised community activity across the country that celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. As a community, Stratford can be proud to have been a part of this incredible milestone since our very first Daffodil Day lunch in 1990.
Central to the whole campaign is, of course, the daffodil. The first flower of spring. Bringing light after cold, dark winter days and the hope of a new beginning. It has become a symbol of hope for people facing cancer and treatment.
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Many of the fresh daffodils that we sell are grown right here in Taranaki by volunteers, however, with an increase in demand, we also order in blooms to ensure we have them available on the day.
Right across the country, more than 600,000 fresh daffodils are needed for Daffodil Day and more than 11,000 volunteers take part to turn New Zealand yellow. In Stratford alone, more than 50 volunteers help with the various activities we hold and we're always looking for more, so please get in touch if you can help out.
The success of Daffodil Day in Stratford is thanks to the ongoing support of our local businesses. When Covid-19 hit, we knew there would be an impact on our fundraising efforts this year. However, we have been blown away by how much businesses have continued to stand beside us.
As a result of this generosity, the Taranaki Cancer Society is able to do so much in our community to help both our people with cancer and educate and advocate.
Keeping our children and grandchildren sun smart is key to combating UV related cancers, and the Taranaki Cancer Society is aiming to have 100 per cent of schools sun smart accredited.
The Sun Smart scheme also lends out sunscreen poles to community events free of charge. 108 poles went out to Taranaki events last summer alone.
The Stratford Community should be incredibly proud of how it contributes to helping the Taranaki Cancer Society's work. This year will be no different for us – and I'm looking forward to sharing with you the activities we have planned over the coming weeks.