A group of Upper Arlington firefighters will host an annual flower sale next week to help support everything from burn victims and ovarian cancer research to college scholarships.
In line with the spring planting season, and just in time for Mother's Day, members of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1521 will man the Kingsdale Center parking lot for three days next week for their sixth annual flower sale.
Proceeds will benefit a variety of local and regional charities, including the Ohio State University Burn Center, the March of Dimes Foundation, cystic fibrosis and ovarian cancer research, Honor Flight and a scholarship fund to provide college assistance to UA firefighters' children.
"Your mom wants you to buy flowers from us," UAFD Capt. Mark Hollingshead said.
The flower sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- possibly 6 p.m. if business is swift -- in the Macy's parking lot on the Northwest Boulevard side of the Kingsdale Center.
Fireman Mark Weade said flower baskets and planters will be provided by Strader's Garden Centers and Cuthbert Greenhouse.
"It's all high-quality stuff," Weade said. "Baskets are one for $13 or two for $25. We also have some planters, which will range from $13 to $25."
The flower sale is one of several fundraisers IAFF 1521 participates in each year to support charities and scholarship funds.
In recent years, the group's "Fill the Boot" campaign at the Five Points intersection over Labor Day weekend has raised as much as $7,000 to support the March of Dimes.
The flower sale evolved from IAFF 1521's mulch sale, which was held annually in spring.
"We did the mulch sale about 10 or 12 years," Hollingshead said. "We started just throwing stuff out of the back of a trailer, and we proceeded to get about 500 customers.
"Flowers are a lot easier to lift."
While IAFF 1521 hopes to see many turn out for the flower sale, its members said would-be flower shoppers should know they do not accept pre-orders, and all purchases must be paid for in cash or by check.