WHERE FLOWERS BLOOM SO DOES HOPE……………
The beginning of 2015 was unusually dreary for the Middle Tennessee area as the harsh winter dragged on and on with frequent snows, freezing rain, and frigid temperatures. Everyone at DCI Lebanon was looking forward to the relief that spring would bring. On March 24, 2015 we launched our “Let’s Grow Together” campaign using UT Extention’s Garden Tips pamphlet to encourage patients and staff to plant gardens. Then we followed in April with our “Let’s Grow Together” spring/summer contest. The rules for the contest were as follows:
- Use the sunflower seeds provided
- Plant the seeds
- Watch the sunflowers grow and bloom
- Be the first individual to bring in a blooming sunflower from the seeds provided to be the winner.
Instructions on how to grow sunflowers were provided as well as a reminder, “sunflowers are extremely resilient” and so we also should be resilient.
The thought for the day and actually the season became “where flowers bloom so does hope.”
As the weeks passed, we had varying updates on how individuals’ sunflowers were growing including one patient bringing in a seedling in a small cup.
The first patient to bring in a sunflower bloom on Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule was Mr.Jerry Largen.
The first patient to bring in a sunflower bloom on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday schedule was Ms.Cindy Dixon.
The first employee was Jennifer Warren with a close second being Kesia Lawrence.
Special mention (voted by the staff because he brought in the first seedling and later the entire sunflower plant including the bloom and roots) was Mr. Roger Romines.
We added a participation recognition category for individuals who had sunflowers to bloom, but they were not the first place winner.
Prizes awarded the winners were donated dinner meals to a local restaurant. A quart canning jar filled with treats and instructions on how to use the jar to measure fluid intake was given to participants.
Benefits of the contest as observed by writer included beautiful, cheery bouquets of sunflowers decorated our clinic as well as patient/staff’s gardens, an array of breathtaking photos captured the moments, the participants who grew their sunflowers went outside for fresh air, exercise and a dose of vitamin D aka sunshine, and lastly, participants had bragging rights… “I did it”!