OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: American Cancer Society annual Daffodil Days finished after 40 years

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-03-11T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: American Cancer Society annual Daffodil Days finished after 40 yearsBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Daffodils are one of the first flowers of the spring season, blooming right after tiny and colorful crocuses emerge.

Daffodils, with their vibrant yellow cup and saucer design blooms, symbolize a sign of hope, which is why the yellow flowers' sales served as an especially appropriate fundraiser for cancer research this month.

After four decades of blooming success, the American Cancer Society's annual Daffodil Day Fundraiser has ceased.

Sales for what now seem like the so-familiar bunches of 10 stems for $10, raising funds to aid cancer research, education and patient services, would normally have been this week.

"As the American Cancer Society moves into our second century, it is time to reflect not only on how much progress the Society has made, but also to take a closer look at our organization and determine how we can finish the fight against cancer," said Cinda White, senior representative for Community Engagement Lakeshore Division of the American Cancer Society, Inc. at the Mishawaka location.

"This requires evaluating all of the Society's fundraising events. In an effort to maximize our impact, the Society has chosen to invest in fundraisers that can help us reach more people and raise the most money, such as our Relay For Life events that take place in thousands of communities across the globe. Daffodil Days will be remembered fondly in this community. Given the passion and dedication of our committed volunteers and donors, this was not an easy decision, but ultimately it will allow the American Cancer Society to have greater resources to invest into our lifesaving mission."

Locally, we lost our American Cancer Society office in Valparaiso a decade ago, and the Merrillville location three years ago.

In 2011, the final year our Merrillville American Cancer Society office remained open, they reported more than 8,000 bunches of daffodils delivered around Lake County during Daffodil Days, raising more than $66,000. Nationally, Daffodil Days raised more than $17 million across the country last year. However, the organization's Relay for Life brought in $400 million according to the final campaign results.

"We appreciate how much The Northwest Indiana Times has supported us over the years," White told me.

"It is with deep regret I need to inform you that the organization decided 2013 was the final year of our Daffodil Days program. The ending of this program was not because of lack of support, leadership or talent. Although Daffodil Days has brought hope and cheer to many people, our local campaign in 2013 was one of only a handful still taking place across the country. Because of the program's limited geography, it was decided that the Society can have a greater impact on those facing cancer by investing in our other, more far-reaching fundraisers. I know that your organization does a remarkable job reporting on our other events in the Northwest Indiana area. We are still going strong with Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer."

FYI: Contact the American Cancer Society at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org/daffodils.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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