2.7 C
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

A blooming-good fundraising effort

Schuurmans family opens up sunflower field, soliciting donations for Woolwich Youth Centre


News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

20-year-old agreement causes a stir

An Elmira environmentalist’s “smoking gun” appears to be shooting blanks. Al Marshall, a long-time critic of cleanup efforts at...

Need for dementia research will only keep growing

Along with financial insecurity due to inadequate pensions, Canadians have health issues to worry about as society ages...

Forks up to farmers on well-timed Agriculture Day

February is not the most obvious time to celebrate agriculture in Canada. But that’s...


overcast clouds
2.7 ° C
4 °
0.6 °
86 %
90 %
7 °
7 °
-4 °
-6 °
-8 °

Visitors to the field at Milky Wave Farm are encouraged to help themselves to the sunflowers, and make a donation to the youth centre. [Veronica Reiner]
Row upon row of blooming sunflowers can’t help but brighten the day, rain or shine – and we’ve certainly had more of the former this summer, which makes taking a stroll through a Floradale-area farm all the more enjoyable.

Better still, you’re invited to pick as many of the flowers as you’d like. There’s no charge, but a donation to the Woolwich Youth Centre would be happily accepted.

The unique fundraiser is the brainchild of dairy farmer Henk Schuurmans, who operates Milky Wave Farm. The father of five hosted a picking last year in memory of his late wife Bettina, who was killed in a collision last summer in Saskatchewan as the couple drove a tractor across the country to raise support for the Canadian dairy industry.

With the sunflower event, the family is looking to support the Woolwich Community Services youth initiative.

“Come out to get the free sunflower and also bring a bouquet for their neighbour, friends or family,” said Schuurmans. “They’re free, so take as many as you want. If you have a bit of change left in your wallet, spend it on something meaningful for our youth centre.”

There are more than 1,000 sunflowers ripe for the picking, with scissors available to help with the job, conveniently located next to a guest book and donation box.

The flowers were first planted three years ago as a family suggestion for an open plot of land at the dairy farm. There is a small trail running through the centre of the field so guests can take a short stroll through. The plants are a low-maintenance use for the land, Schuurmans notes. And the draw of sunflowers make it a natural spot for the fundraising effort he came up with.

“It was Henk’s idea,” said WCS’ Leigh-Anne Quinn. “He wanted to choose a charity or cause that he felt passionate about, and he connected with Woolwich Community Services.

“He came to our agency, and we showed him our space and chatted about our programs, and he thought the youth centre would be an appropriate place for the money to go.”

The WCS youth centre is located at the WMC, offering services to young people between the ages of 6 and 18. Its goal is to provide a safe, supervised, and fun environment. There are a variety of programs for youth to participate in, from simply a casual drop-in space to games and organized outings.

“They do great stuff; they go on McDonald’s trips together, they go to the Bingemans splash park, they do lots of sporting type stuff, so gym nights once per month,” said Quinn. “It’s just a great place. All the proceeds will specifically go to the youth centre, which is a program that is always seeking funding.”

The sunflower fields are available 24/7 at Milky Wave Inc. dairy farm, 1088 Jesse Pl. outside of Elmira. Signs will direct guests as to the precise location – the initiative got underway last week and will continue until the sunflowers are all picked.

For an ideal pick, leave 24 inches of stem attached to the flower, cut at a 45-degree angle, and place in water as soon as possible.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Under the auctioneer’s gavel to provide help Down Under

After seeing the devastation from the Australian wildfires, a local art collector sold the first painting she ever bought on Saturday to help raise money for relief efforts there. Nancy...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Jacks take 3-2 series lead into deciding weekend vs. New Hamburg

The Wellesley Applejacks are up 3-2 in their best-of-seven series against the New Hamburg Firebirds, having claimed two of this week’s three games in...

U.S. edges out Canada in national para hockey battle

In the natural on-ice rivalry between Canada and the U.S., the American para hockey team has had the advantage in recent years. That...

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place...
- Advertisement -