One of the most beautiful summer traditions I’ve found Connecticut is the annual Sunflowers for Wishes fundraising event at Buttonwood Farm in Griswold. Now in its 12th year, this event truly one of a kind.
According to the farm owner turned philanthropist Duane Button, in 2003, at the suggestion of a friend, Duane and his family planted a one acre field of sunflowers. When the flowers began to blossom, people from miles away visited the farm to admire and photograph the blooms.
Aside from enjoying their beauty, the Buttons did little else with the flowers in the first year besides feeding them to their cows.
After discussing possible solutions, the idea for a Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraiser was born.
By 2004, The Buttons planted 10 acres of sunflowers, (yielding approximately 300,000 blooms) and that numbers continues to grow. The event is so popular now that 14 acres of sunflowers (450,000 blooms) have been planted to meet the demands.
The 2015 event will take place July 18th – 26th. I realize July is still a long ways away, but since this event is so time sensitive, I thought it best to leave ample time for planning (like I did for another flower-filled event).
Large, stunning bouquets will be available at the farm (on a first come, first served basis) for just $5, and 100% of all proceeds are donated directly to the Connecticut Make-A-Wish Foundation which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
The farm will also sell sunflower themed t-shirts and notecards, and will offer hayrides through the flower field and adjoining cow pasture – an absolute must do if you visit the farm.
Another must on your to do list is to sample the oh-so-creamy ice cream made fresh on the farm – and naturally, there is a (delicious) sunflower flavor.
To learn more about this incredible event, Make-A-Wish, and the family behind it, visit sunflowersforwishes.com.