AFE’s Annual Fundraising Dinner held on Aug. 14 was blooming with excitement, including industry updates, the announcement of five new named funds, donor recognitions, the passing of the gavel and more. The dinner, attended by more than 250 industry members, was held in conjunction with the Society of American Florists’ Annual Convention in Marco Island, Fla.
2014 Dinner Sponsors
Reception Sponsor – $4,500
Entertainment – $2,500
Hosts – $2,500
Sponsors – $1,500
Printing Sponsors – $1,250
Wine Sponsors – $1,000
Other Supporters- $500+
As the centerpiece of the evening, AFE announced five new named funds:
The Todd Bachman Memorial Fund, which will underwrite AFE’s quarterly Bulletin
Todd Bachman served as chairman and CEO of Bachman’s before his untimely death in 2008. A past chairman of AFE, he is remembered as a great communicator and for his outstanding leadership and devotion to work and family.
The Del Demaree Family Fund – $250,000, which will establish an internship program to market the industry as a viable career path to attract top collegiate talent with a concentration in business
Delmar “Del” Demaree served as AFE chairman in the early 1990s and has an unsurpassed commitment to the industry. Chairman of Syndicate Sales, Inc., he has earned the respect of his peers throughout 60-plus years in the industry.
The Pennock Company Fund – $125,000
The Pennock Company, with more than 200 associates in eight locations, is a premier wholesaler serving the Eastern Seaboard with a full selection of cut flowers, floral containers and supplies and specialty items.
The Tom Butler Family Fund – $50,000
Industry leader and AFE champion Tom Butler was a past chairman of AFE who began his distinguished career in the industry more than 44 years ago. He established this unrestricted fund to support AFE’s programs in July before passing away on Aug. 14.
The Peter Ullrich/Esmeralda Farms Fund – $35,000
Peter Ullrich is chairman of Esmeralda Farms, a market leader in the floral industry committed to breeding, growing and distributing the highest quality fresh cut flowers.
The Endowment also acknowledged the following organizations for reaching new giving levels:
Platinum Club (more than $100,000 in giving)
Manatee Fruit Company
Diamond Club(more than $75,000 in giving)
Strange’s Florist, Greenhouses and Garden Centers
Gold Club (more than $50,000 in giving)
Builders Club (more than $25,000 in giving)
Benefactors Club (more than $20,000 in giving)
Patrons Club(more than $15,000 in giving)
Pikes Peak of Texas
Founders Club(more than $10,000 in giving)
The Queen’s Flowers
The dinner marked the close of Paul Bachman’s two-year term as chairman, and he passed the gavel to AFE’s incoming chairman, Golden Flowers’ President Gabriel Becerra.
“We will continue placing emphasis on finding ways to attract young people to our industry, as well as on promoting collaboration among our different associations,” Becerra said. “Our goal is to help build a stronger future for everyone involved in our wonderful industry.”
Additional dinner highlights:
- Announcing more than $458,000 this year in scientific research, grants and scholarships funding.
- Highlighting the Floral Marketing Research Fund’s new study conducted by University of California, Davis Professor Heiner Lieth, Ph.D., aiming to gain a better understanding of college students’ floral preferences to find strategies to increase floral consumption among young consumers. The study is currently ongoing, and results will be published on the FMRF website when available.
- Reporting on a new study the FMRF has been conducting with the National Funeral Directors Association that will provide insight about how to improve the working relationship between florists and funeral directors and promote the many benefits that flowers and plants bring to the bereavement process. Results will be released to the industry as they become available.
- Recognizing recent Memorial Tributes John “Jack” B. Giles and Ed and Dorothy Niklas.
- Showing the award winning “Murder, Sex and Greed” animated awareness video.
The dinner would not be possible without the support of dinner sponsors who lend their names and financial support to the event. Sponsorships help AFE offset the fundraising dinner expenses, allowing more funding for research, grants and scholarships. A special thank you to the 2014 dinner sponsors for their strong commitments to AFE and for helping to make the 2014 dinner a success!
Photos from the dinner are available online or by contacting Suzanna McCloskey, AFE manager of communications and media.