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17th Annual Rose Sale reaches fundraising milestone

October 22, 2015

The 17th annual Shirley Batsie Memorial Rose Sale sold out in less than three days selling close to 40,000 roses.

“This year’s rose sale was very special for me,” said Michele Lariviere, owner of Otto Florist & Gifts located in Ware.

Making a difference

After this year, the annual rose sale reached a significant milestone raising over a quarter of a million dollars in support of theBaystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center.

The Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital provides access to expert Physician Specialists who offer the most current cancer care, including evaluations, diagnostic treatment and national research protocols. A team of Certified Oncology Nurses provide chemotherapy services, blood product transfusions, palliative care, counseling and support, joined by clinical social workers who provide counseling, education and support groups for patients, their families and caregivers.

“Keeping care close to home is very important not only for the patients but for the families too,” said Lariviere.  “Over the past 17 years the flower shop has donated the proceeds of well over a million roses to help keep cancer care local.”  

The rose sale this year raised $9400, bringing the 17 year total to $254,716. 

Help from volunteers

Lariviere attributes much of her success to the many volunteers. 

“Each year I can count on an army of volunteers, some prepare dozens of roses for sale, others sell the roses at sites throughout the region. The strength behind the Rose Sale is the Ware Football Team who came to my store every morning before class to help bring the heavy buckets of roses from the coolers out onto the streets and into the delivery trucks. They are a great group of kids and their families and school should take great pride in them for the work they do in school, on the field and in the community,” Lariviere said.

“We congratulate Michele on her success and thank her for her continued dedication,” said Dr. Charles Cavagnaro, President of Baystate Health Eastern Region which includes Baystate Wing and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, and the Baystate Regional Cancer Program located in Ware. “We also thank the many area businesses and volunteers that supported her efforts, which help us keep cancer care local and patient centered as we meet the unique needs of our communities.  

“As a local business owner, I thank our community for their continued support during the rose sale and also their valued business throughout year. I am grateful to be a part of the history of Ware. Otto Florist & Gifts has been in business since 1927 and takes great pride in being a local florist,” Lariviere said.