DeKalb donates with ‘Daffodil Days’

By Eric Beesley

Those looking to make a difference and bring cheer to someone in need have the opportunity with the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days.

“This is an American Cancer Society campaign that they do worldwide in order to brighten someone’s day and bring in donations to the society,” said Gracia Polarek, volunteer chairman of the DeKalb County Daffodil Committee.

People are given the opportunity to make a donation to the American Cancer Society by ordering daffodils which will then be delivered to people affected by cancer as well as raise awareness for the cause.

“The program was started in 1973 and is one of our oldest and most beloved fund raisers,” said Katie Schuldt, of the ACS’ Chicago office.

Those wishing to participate need to order by Feb. 13. The flowers will be delivered on March 14.

“Our committee works out of the Kishwaukee Hospital to pretty the flowers up a little before sending them out,” Polarek said.

Mary Anne Whyel, office coordinator of the Illinois Regional Cancer Center at Kishwaukee Hospital, 9 Health Services Drive, said the flowers are delivered to the hospital then distributed to patients when they come in for treatment.

“They always bring smiles and come in vases so all the patients need to do is bring them home and water them,” Whyel said.

This is a nice fund raiser that they enjoy doing, Polarek said.

“I make sure to get the committee involved every year,” Polarek said.

Schuldt said they sell fresh daffodils in order to bring a touch of spring into someone’s life.

“People wishing to donate can choose from daffodils ranging in price from a bunch for $10 to a full case costing $500, but donations of any amount are accepted,” Schuldt said.

Polarek said they also have a “Gift of Hope” bouquet available for $25.

“[It comes] in a lovely vase that is delivered anonymously to local hospitals or treatment centers in the community,” Polarek said. “A Gift of Hope funds cancer research, educational programs, advocacy, services for cancer patients and their families and furthers the mission of the American Cancer Society.”

Since donations are anonymous, those receiving the flowers will not know who purchased them. The American Cancer Society assures they bring plenty of joy to all recipients.

“This is a wonderful cause, and I strongly encourage everyone to get involved in any way that you can,” said Polarek.