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Good Neighbor Day set for Sept. 13

Farmville Mayor David Whitus recently signed a proclamation in observance of the 21st annual Good Neighbor Day event, set to take place on Sept. 13.

According to Town of Farmville spokeswoman Kate Pickett Eggleston, Good Neighbor Day is a community event that involves community members visiting either Rochette’s Florist or Carter’s Flower Shop to receive a free dozen roses, given that community members are asked to give 11 roses away and to keep one for themselves.

“The goal is to give away the 11 roses in a gesture of friendship and goodwill and to bring the community together in giving and kindness,” said Eggleston who also serves as the Heart of Virginia Christmas Mother (HOVCM) president.

Eggleston said the roses are paid for by sponsors.

“After the roses are paid for, any remaining funds go to the HOVCM program,” Eggleston said. “HOVCM receives leftover funds from the sponsors and any donations given to us the day of.”

She said HOVCM representatives will be at the flower shops to pass out the roses and collect donations. The donations will help provide Christmas for children in the Heart of Virginia.

“Good Neighbor Day is our biggest fundraising event,” Eggleston said referring to HOVCM. “We hope to raise more money this year in order to provide Christmas gifts for even more children in need.”

Eggleston said the proceeds haven’t always gone to Christmas Mother, but in the past, went to other organizations. This is the second year that proceeds will go to Christmas Mother.

Last year representatives from HOVCM handed out more than 16,000 roses, raised more than $28,000 and brought Christmas to more than 250 children in Prince Edward County, according to Eggleston.

She said as members of the public can help by sponsoring Good Neighbor Day.

“Any individuals or businesses who are sponsors will be acknowledged publicly,” Eggleston said. “You can also donate the day of when you come to pick up your roses.”

Carolyn Jones, co-owner of Carter’s Flower Shop along with her husband Richard Jones, said while the flower shop usually opens at 8:30 a.m., they are planning on opening at 8 a.m. on Sept. 13.

Regarding Good Neighbor Day, she said the community event has grown every year.

“Last year we ran out — we had over 600 dozen in our shop and I think so did Rochette’s at their shop,” Carolyn said. “… We were out (of roses) by (2 p.m.)”

She said she encouraged those interested in participating to come out early.

Jones said while the roses are free, she encourages those participating to donate in efforts to help HOVCM raise money.

Sidney Allen, general manager and co-owner of Rochette’s Florist, said the shop was looking forward to Good Neighbor Day.

“It’s just really blossomed into an incredible event,” Allen said. “We saw an opportunity to benefit a worthy cause.”

He said seeing how it was when it first began to how it is now is very heartwarming and it was very rewarding to see that so many children will benefit from the event.

Rochette’s Florist is located at 100 S. Virginia St. in Farmville. Carter’s Flower Shop is located at 711 W. Third St. in Farmville.