Daffodils brighten lives in many ways | CraigDailyPress.com

Daffodils brighten lives in many ways

Tamera Manzanares/For the Saturday Morning Press

Every March, Susanne and Daryl Bostrom drive to Denver to pick up thousands of freshly cut daffodils. Within days, the flowers brighten homes, schools, offices and businesses throughout Routt and Moffat counties.

"It fills our pickup truck; you can't believe how many flowers it is," said Susanne Bostrom, who owns Alpine Floral.

Daffodils for Hospice, a mainstay of spring in the Yampa Valley, raises funds for the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association's Hospice and Palliative Care program, which has cared for and comforted terminally ill and injured patients and their families for more than 20 years.

The daffodils will be available for sale tomorrow in Steamboat Springs, Craig, Hayden, Oak Creek and Clark.

Susanne Bostrom helped start the fundraiser two decades ago after her father passed away under hospice care. She orders the flowers from growers in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. The flowers arrive unblossomed less than 24 hours of being cut.

Daffodils are an ideal flower for the event because they can be dry packed and stored at about 35 degrees for up to 10 days. Trimming the bottoms prompts the flowers to bloom.

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"It's so neat to see the daffodils everywhere you go in town," she said. "It's a warm fuzzy."

Hospice focuses on making patients as comfortable as possible — providing medical care and easing physical and emotional pain — as they near the end of life. Hospice also provides grief support to children and families.

The VNA's Hospice teams includes medical directors, nurses, physical therapists, Certified Nurse Aides, medical social workers, a spiritual care and bereavement coordinator and volunteers. They provide care and support in patients' homes, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Staff are available 24 hours a day and travel to far reaches of Routt and Moffat counties, in all types of weather, to care for patients.

Hospice is provided to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Costs of medications, medical equipment and other aspects of care often exceed reimbursement from insurance. Daffodils funds and private donations help cover this gap.

"Daffodils not only support us financially, but it has raised so much awareness about hospice and what it means in our community," said Vicki Barron, a registered nurse and VNA Director of Home Services.

Daffodils for Hospice would not be possible without community support. This year, more than 300 businesses and organizations have pre-ordered daffodils. About 50 volunteers help with many logistics, including wrapping, selling and delivering the flowers.

For the past 12 years, local artist Barb Ross has created an original watercolor painting, reproduced on posters and other materials, to promote the fundraiser.

"All year long I look for design ideas and things that catch my eye," she said.

This year's painting will be available as greeting cards at Daffodils sales locations. Proceeds also go to Hospice.

"I feel like Hospice is such a special organization in our community, and this is a small way I can give back," Ross said.

For more information about Daffodils for Hospice, call 970-871-7609.

Tamera Manzanares is Marketing Coordinator at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. She can be reached at tmanzanares@nwcovna.org or 970-871-7642.

Daffodils for Hospice

Daffodils will be available for sale at the Northwest Colorado VNA in Steamboat Springs and Craig, City Market stores in Steamboat Springs and Craig, Ace at the Curve, Hayden Mercantile, Bonfiglio Drug and the Clark Store. They are $5 per bunch, $24 for five bunches and $46 for 10 bunches. All proceeds benefit the VNA’s Hospice program.

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