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A sea of pink will overtake Amherst this spring


AMHERST — Though winter will soon be upon the Granite State, members of the Amherst Garden Club already have their sights set on spring when they can welcome in a flood of pink flowers to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

According to organizer and garden club member Julie Livingston, there are more than 100 women in the garden club. With that many women involved, the prevalence of breast cancer is hard to dismiss and members recently watched as one of their own was taken by the disease.

"A lot of women have it and don't want to talk about it for myriad reasons," said Livingston. But the desire was still strong to do something to help.

Livingston began looking for ideas and found an organization that had sold spring bulbs to raise money for breast cancer research. Livingston borrowed on that idea, connecting with the American Cancer Society to turn the idea into a reality. Called "Plant it PINK," the decision was made to sell pink tulip bulbs that would be planted around Amherst on town land, at businesses, homes and condominium complexes.

The club also enlisted the local schools and students in elementary through high school to plant the bulbs. Teachers at several of the schools incorporated the project into their classes, using the bulbs to teach the kids about science, while also touching carefully on breast cancer, said Livingston.

"The children at the Clark and Wilkins schools were treated to a visit by Anabel Bulb and a very special presentation about the biology of tulips, and how to plant them," said Livingston. "The children made special Plant It Pink crowns to wear to the event and colored a botanical drawing of a tulip. Each child was able to plant their own bulb in their respective school yards assisted by volunteers from the community and The Amherst Garden Club."

The support from both the garden club and the community has been astounding, Livingston said.

"Once people heard about this idea, they latched onto it with a vengeance," she said. "Our initial concern was whether or not we could raise money through this project, but it quickly became whether we had enough space to plant all these bulbs."

According to Marti Warren of the Amherst Garden Club, in total, more than 4,500 bulbs were purchased and planted, promising a sea of pink come spring.

"This was a great cause and event for our town and as the last bulbs are planted and snow blankets the area, we can smile a bit as we anticipate the coming pink display this spring," Warren said."It's a silent show of support for the people dealing with breast cancer, and their loved ones," Livingston said.

For more information, go to amherstgardenclub.org.

nfoster@newstote.com


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