The Midwest Group, a floral industry trade association consisting of 15 leading florists nationwide, generously donated $1,500 to the Tom Butler Family Fund. The fund was established in 2014 by Tom and Becky Butler to provide general undesignated funds to the American Floral Endowment (AFE), prior to Tom’s passing in August.
“Tom engendered a perception of familiarity and love even among casual acquaintances, and the sheer number of people who felt or imagined that bond is a staggering testament to the friendly and thoughtful man we lost,” said Tim Galea, president of Norton’s Flowers & Gifts and a member of the Midwest Group. “Tom was a once-in-a-generation leader who transcended the disharmony of business and earned everyone’s friendship and respect with his genuine and consistent personality.”
This donation included contributions from Ballard Blossom in Seattle, Wash.; Beaverton Florist in Beaverton, Ore.; Flowers by Louis Hody in Nashville, Tenn.; Grohe’s Florist in Santa Rosa, Calif.; Hall’s Flower Shop in Stone Mountain, Ga.; Jimmy’s Flowers in Ogden, Utah; Kittelberger Florist in Rochester, N.Y.; Norton’s Flowers & Gifts in Ypsilanti, Mich.; Palace Florists in Washington, D.C.; Patterson’s Flowers in Big Rapids, Mich.; Schaefer Greenhouses in Montgomery, Ill.; Scott’s House of Flowers in Lawton, Okla.; Spark’s Florist in Sparks, Nev.; Tiger Lily Flowers in Charleston, S.C.; and Tillie’s Flower Shop in Wichita, Kan.
Tom served on AFE’s board of trustees for 10 years, including chairman for two years, and as the development chairman for four years. He was passionate about communicating how AFE-funded research and student programs benefit all segments of the industry. Galea challenges other individuals and floral groups to contribute to the Tom Butler Family Fund.
“I think it is important to show the industry’s widespread affection for Tom by building and sustaining the family’s named endowment in his memory,” said Galea.
“I am overjoyed to see this contribution to the Tom Butler Family Fund by the Midwest Group honoring Tom,” said AFE’s Executive Director Debi Aker. “Tom whole-heartedly believed in the importance of AFE’s programs that foster the next generation of floral leaders and the research to help solve critical industry issues.”
Contributions to the Tom Butler Family Fund can be made online at Endowment.org/donate. Simply designate the fund in the “description” box on the second page of the form. All donations to AFE are tax-deductible.
Midwest Group members.