Borgess-Lee to host annual hanging basket sale this weekend

Published 11:15 am Monday, May 4, 2015

Besides making a lovely gift just in time for Mother’s Day, the baskets of petunias, begonias and other vibrant flowers up for sale this weekend will be supporting a cause that everyone can get behind — the continued care of the community’s sick and injured.

Members with the Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital’s Nursing Shared Governance Committee will be hosting their annual flower basket sale this weekend, during the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival.

Visitors will be able to purchase an assortment of hanging baskets of petunias, mine-petunias, wandering jew, fuscia, begonias and geraniums from the entrance of Borgess-Lee from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. The sale will move to downtown’s Beckwith Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Saturday.

As in previous years, proceeds from the flower sale will go toward the governance committee’s educational and developmental programs for the Dowagiac hospital staff of more than 50 nurses. The fundraiser is the largest source of the six-person board’s operating funds, accounting for around 75 of their annual revenue, said sale organizer and Borgess-Lee Emergency Department Supervisor Heather Moore.

“Without this sale we cannot do any of the projects we do for the nurses here at the hospital,” Moore said.

Last year, organizers sold nearly 350 plants throughout the three-day event, with the remaining plants sold the next week at the hospital, the supervisor said.

Among the indicatives the committee sponsors every year for the healthcare providers are special weeklong educational seminars, where instructors provide lessons about potentially lifesaving skills such as setting up a breathing tube for patients, Moore said.

“They are things that are important that our nurses don’t get to do very frequently,” she said. “It gives them the opportunity to get a refresher on important skills.”

The committee also helps out during the hospital’s annual celebration of Nurse’s Week, giving out gifts and tote bags to local nurses as way of thanking them for their service, Moore said.

These services not only helps the hospital keep their nursing staff up to date on the latest best practices, but also helps it retain their best talents, Moore said.

Providing the flowers for this year’s sale is Dussel’s Floral Shop. The Cassopolis greenhouse and farmer’s market takes over for Dohm’s Pat-Ch Greenhouse, which had supplied the plants for the sale for many years, Moore said.

“[Dussel’s] has been outstanding to work with,” she said. “They were very helpful in letting us know what they have for us to buy. They also volunteered to deliver the flowers to us.”

Prices for this year’s sales have yet to be finalized. The flowers have been sold in previous years for $15 a basket, Moore said.

A popular event in year’s past, Moore said she and the other members of the committee appreciate the support that locals have given the sale and the hospital’s nursing staff over the years, stating the committee’s motto: “we support our nurses, and our nurses support you.”

“We are here to take care of you,” she said. “We want to provide the best possible medical experience for families. We want to take the best possible care of the community.”