By Gordon Lambie
The Maison Aube Lumiere’s 30th annual poinsettia campaign begins this weekend. Having started in 1991 with only 500 plants, the fundraiser will this year be selling 6,400 for the benefit of the palliative care home’s ongoing work in the community.
“It started five years before the first house on Kennedy street,” said Vicky Bélanger, the Maison Aube Lumiere’s Director of Financing and Communications. “It’s how they started to raise money for the home.”
Bélanger said that in those early years the plants were grown in the garages of committee members, but the operation has been based out the Serres Saint Elie nursery on industrial Boulevard for the last 25 years.
The Masion Aube Lumiere is a palliative care home for people with end-stage cancers in the Eastern Townships. It has welcomed more than 3,500 people and their families, free of charge, since opening its doors for the first time in 1997.
The goal of the fundraiser is to raise at least $150,000, roughly ten per cent of the $1.5 million they work to raise annually to serve their clientele. Looking at the detail’s of this year’s sale, the communications director shared that although the plants are slightly more expensive, it is not out of an effort to push harder on supporters.
“It had been the same price since 2018, but with the pandemic everything is more expensive,” Bélanger said, adding that, “usually when we raise, it stays that way for a couple of years.”
Those looking to pick up some of the festive flowers can pay between $25 and $45 depending on the size and colour of choice.
Although the sale officially begins on Saturday, Bélanger said that the doors to the greenhouse will be open Friday for those particularly keen to have a look. In theory the sale continues until Dec. 18, but the director encouraged those interested in participating in the fundraiser to do so sooner than later.
“Last year by Dec. 14 there was not a single plant left,” she said.
Aside from the direct sales at the greenhouse, the Maison Aube Lumiere will also have a kiosk at the Carrefour de l’Estrie mall from Dec. 2 to 12, and will sell poinsettias at the Jardin Des Trouvailles nursery in Coaticook. Purchases can also be made online or by calling the palliative care home directly at (819) 821-3120.
“Last year we tripled home delivery,” Bélanger said.