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AFE’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the 2015 Annual Fundraising Dinner, was a record-breaking occasion, with more than 270 supporters in attendance.
5D3_3975New scholarships, educational programs and donors reaching new giving levels were announced at the dinner, which was held on September 10 at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Amelia Island, Fla. in conjunction with the Society of American Florists’ (SAF’s) Annual Convention.
Among the many highlights, four new named funds totaling more than $850,000 were announced, and they will join the 12 other named funds created since 2011. Establishing a named fund is a great way to show your support and leave a lasting tribute to the floral industry for years to come.

Thank You!

2015 Dinner Sponsors

Reception Sponsor – $4,500

  • Teleflora

Entertainment – $2,500

  • FTD


  • Equiflor/Rio Roses

Hosts – $2,500

  • Asocolflores
  • BloomNet
  • Delaware Valley Floral Group
  • DWF Wholesale Florist
  • FTD
  • Garcia Group
  • Golden Flowers
  • Hortica
  • The John Henry Company
  • Kennicott Brothers Company
  • Los Angeles Flower Market of the American Florist’s Exchange
  • The Pete Garcia Company
  • Smithers-Oasis/Floralife
  • Syndicate Sales, Inc.
  • Tagawa Greenhouses
  • Teleflora
  • The Queen’s Flowers

Sponsors – $1,500

  • Armellini Express Lines, Inc.
  • Ball Horticultural Company
  • Chrysal Americas
  • Fresca Farms
  • Pennock Company
  • Royer’s Flowers & Gifts
  • United Fresh

Printing Sponsors – $1,250

  • DESIGN MASTER color tool, inc.
  • East Jordan Plastics, Inc.

Wine Sponsors – $1,000

  • Billy Heroman’s Flowers & Gifts
  • Blackmore Company, Inc.
  • Continental Flowers
  • The Ecke Family
  • Gems Group
  • Holland America Flower Connection
  • Mayesh Wholesale
  • Poppy, Inc.
  • The Roy Houff Company LLC
  • Sakata
  • Sieck Wholesale Florist
  • Sole Farms
  • Strange’s Florists, Greenhouses & Garden Centers
  • Tagawa Greenhouses

Other Supporters- $500+

  • AmericanHort
  • Baisch & Skinner
  • Beneva Solutions
  • Gainan’s Floral & Greenhouses
  • Leider Horticultural Company
  • Newport Wholesale Floral/Amling Brothers
  • Phillip’s Flowers
  • Phoenix Flower Shops
  • Stadium Flowers
  • Star Roses & Plants – The Conard-Pyle Co.
  • WinField

One New Designated Named Fund (designated for a particular scholarship, research effort or grant):

  • Altman Family Scholarship Fund $150,000 to establish a new scholarship


Ken and Deena Altman, owners of Altman Plants, created a new scholarship which will be offered in 2016 for M.S./Ph.D. students, who will become leading floriculture scientists or educators. The scholarship application deadline date each year will be February 1st.
Altman Plants supplies exciting plant programs to large retailers with point of purchase materials, sales reps to assist with merchandising, a large distribution system that covers the United States, and offers expertise in growing plants.

Three New Undesignated Named Funds (flexible gifts not designated for a particular project or effort):

  • Ball Horticultural Company Fund $325,000Marvin MillerBall Horticultural Company is an internationally renowned breeder, producer and wholesale distributor of ornamental plants. A family-owned business since it was founded in 1905, Ball has introduced many innovative, award-winning varieties to the world of horticulture, including the Wave® petunia family and Super Elfin® impatiens.

Ball is committed to sustainable practices and has highlighted its green accomplishments in its “Sustainability Report.” The company has worldwide production, sales and marketing through its many subsidiaries on six continents.

  • Hortica Insurance Fund $125,000Mona HabererFounded in 1887 by SAF, Hortica Insurance & Employee Benefits is a mutual company dedicated solely to the floral and horticultural industry. It is a proven partner for the industry, providing insurance and employee benefit solutions. Hortica is proud to support the educational and research initiatives of AFE.

Hortica has been an active supporter of AFE since its inception. Prior to AFE and SAF joining resources, AFE relocated its offices to Hortica’s headquarters in Edwardsville, Ill. Hortica managed AFE’s administrative functions for four years during a period of AFE’s restructuring and growth.

  • Smithers-Oasis Fund $250,000

    Robin Kilbride and AFE Chairman Gabriel Becerra

    Robin Kilbride and AFE Chairman Gabriel Becerra

    Smithers-Oasis is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of products for the floriculture industry, sold under the company’s three brands: Oasis Floral Products, Floralife Postharvest Products and Oasis Grower Solutions. The company provides solution-based products and services to the industry through growing media for the greenhouse grower; postharvest care and handling of cut flowers and potted plants; and floral foam products, wedding accessories and other specialty products for floral designers. Smithers-Oasis is dedicated to advancing the art and science of floriculture worldwide.

Outgoing AFE Trustee Charles Kremp 3rdof Kremp Florist

Outgoing AFE Trustee Charles Kremp 3rd of Kremp Florist

Tim Galea and his wife Nancy Hooper were welcomed during the dinner as the newest members of AFE’s Legacy Circle – a group of individuals who have made provisions for a planned gift to AFE through a bequest, life insurance policy, trust or in other ways. Tim and Nancy were acknowledged for making arrangements to give to AFE toward the Tom Butler Family Fund.

The Endowment also recognized the following donors for reaching new giving levels:
Platinum Club (more than $100,000 in giving)
Altman Family

Diamond Club (more than $75,000 in giving)
Tagawa Greenhouses

(From left) Charles Walton, Charles Kremp and April Walton

(From left) Charles Walton, Charles Kremp and April Walton

Builders Club (more than $25,000 in giving)
Charles and April Walton
DESIGN MASTER color tool, inc.
Scotts Miracle-Gro
Benefactors Club (more than $20,000 in giving)
Albin Hagstrom & Son, Inc.
Patrons Club (more than $15,000 in giving)
Accent Décor
Hillcrest Gardens
National Floral Supply of Maryland
Founders Club (more than $10,000 in giving)
California Pajarosa
Continental Flowers

Additional dinner highlights:

  • AFE Trustee Laura Shinall (left) and Gabriel Becerra

    AFE Trustee Laura Shinall (left) and AFE Chairman Gabriel Becerra

    Recognizing the Young Professionals Council (YPC) – emerging leaders in the floral industry who will help contribute to AFE’s efforts and reach other young professionals.

  • Reporting on the new Del Demaree Business Internship Program, which will launch in 2016, providing paid business internships and promoting the floral industry as a viable career path.
  • Ken Freytag

    Ken Freytag accepting the “Floral Retailer of the Year” Award

    Recognizing recent memorial tributes Ken Benjamin and Peggy and Michael Leider.

  • Teleflora’s first annual Tom Butler “Floral Retailer of the Year” Award, presented to Ken Freytag of Freytag’s Florist. Teleflora established the award in honor of former Teleflora Chairman, and former AFE Chairman, Tom Butler, who was a longtime advocate for the Endowment.

More highlights from the event can be found in AFE’s Dinner Program.
The success of the dinner each year would not be possible without the sponsors (listed above) who contribute their names and financial support to the event. 2015AFEDinner2Contributions and sponsorships help offset administrative and dinner expenses, allowing more funding for research, grants and educational efforts that benefit the entire floral industry.
Photos from the dinner are available here or by contacting Communications Specialist Lori Ostrow.