Area rallies to sponsor flower baskets

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(File photo/MARY MALONE) A community effort has resulted in enough donations to purchase 90 flower baskets to hang in the downtown area. The program was in danger after the Business Improvement District was dissolved.

SANDPOINT ­— It’s what everyone loves about the Sandpoint community. When there is a need, we rally.

When the Business Improvement District)was dissolved last year, it became clear certain things would dissolve with it, among them the Christmas lights downtown in the winter, and the vibrant, gigantic flower baskets hanging throughout the downtown streets from May to September.

Spearheaded by Deanna Harris at Sharon’s Hallmark, local businesses got together to talk about the need and set a modest goal to raise funds for 50 baskets (in years past, there have been over 100). At $75 each, chamber officials said the group felt 50 would be a good goal. With the assistance of the business owners, volunteers, the media, and the chamber, they began getting the word out. Funds slowly began trickling in, and the more they advertised the need, the more people came together. Businesses all over town, individuals, couples from out of state, and small groups started sending in checks to the chamber.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the response from the community,” said volunteer Ranel Hanson, who went business to business asking for donations. “I quickly realized how much our town loves seeing these flower baskets every year. The response was so positive.”

Once the 50-basket mark was reached, funds continued to come in. To date, the community raised enough money to purchase 90 flower baskets.

The flower baskets are currently being assembled by Creach Greenhouse and will be delivered and hung downtown on Thursday, May 17. The streets will be vibrantly decorated just in time for Lost in the ’50s weekend.

“Our community near and far is just amazing,” Greater Sandpoint Chamber President and CEO Kate McAlister said. “Thank you to ALL the flower basket sponsors for your generosity.”

Those donating to the flower basket fund include:

Great Stuff, Paul Graves, BNSF Railway, Laura Sabet, Buffy McClure, James and Dona Fuller, Clem Yonker and Lori Getts, North Country Electric, Scott and Barbara McLongstreet, Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Comvmerce, Ken Wood, Meadowbrook, Judd and Merilee Conley, Lisa Maus, Bleeding Hearts Tattoo, Realty Plus, Sandpoint Reader, Laughing Dog Brewing, Sandpoint Storage, Rose Marie Thompson,

Litehouse, Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, John and Lynda Hansen, Shirley M. Howard, Cecily and Raymond Britton, William and Shirley Holt, Xhale Pilates Studio, The Martini Girls, Tomlinson Sotheby’s International, James and Lori Armbruster, Bonner County Gardeners Assoc., Bella Terra, Scott Dunn,

Janeen Braun, Cedar St. Bistro, Burl Wood Dreams, Alpine Shop, Sharon’s Hallmark, Weekends and Company, Everygreen Realty, Zero Point, Saw Something Shiny II, Santosha LLC, Century 21 Riverstone, La Quinta Inn, Beet and Basil, Hendricks Architecture, Mistie Kinney Realtor,

Farhan M. Patel, Petal Talk, Dan and Sherry Morgan, Washington Trust Bank, Larson’s , Ray and Dee Kosse, Miriam and Seth Warner, Shirley A. Parker, Idaho Pour Authority, Outdoor Experience, Lana Kay Realty, Sunshine Goldmine, Ranel and Ron Hanson, Misty Mountain Furniture,

Karen Seashore and Tom Tillisch, Gail Harmelin, Pastor Keith and Cora Goulette, MickDuff’s Brewing, Thomas and Tracy Gibson, Alliance Title and Escrow, Kochava, Inc., Northern Lights , Keokee, Ann and Edward Kritzeck, Horizon Credit Union, JW Healey, Eichardt’s, and Blue Sky Broadcasting.

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