FLOWER POWER | MyWindsorNow.com


Jennifer Moore

Jim RydbomWillow assisted living resident Leona Tournai, 89, smiles Tuesday after receiving flowers from Li'l Flower Shop owner Peggie Lipps, right, while with Willow owner Rick Bowers. As part of Make Someone Smile Week, Li'l Flower Shop delivered flowers to tornado survivors in Windsor, Gilcrest and Lafayette.

Tuesday started off like any other day for residents and workers in Windsor.

But at around 10 a.m., their day got a little brighter.

Peggie and Gary Lipps, owners of Li’l Flower Shop, and several other volunteers drove around residential and business areas that were affected by the May 22 tornado and handed out yellow smiley mugs filled with flowers.

More than 500 mugs were delivered around Windsor in the affected areas, 30 went to Gilcrest and 50 were given out

to a Lafayette hospital. The day marked the two-month anniversary

of the mile wide EF3 tornado that hit Gilcrest, west Greeley and Windsor.

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The Be Happy Mugs were part of 2008 Make Someone Smile Week, and sponsored by The Rocky Mountain Unit of Teleflora.

There were tears, laughter, but more importantly smiles were left on every flower recipients’ face.

“We’ve done this for many years, and this year it was designated for the tornado victims,” Peggy said.

Denise Fuller, a Teleflora board member, owner of Castle Rock Florist and volunteer for the day, made her first stop at Skyview Elementary School where the Windmill Daycare teachers and students had made their home since the tornado tore through the building at 1215 Automation Drive.

“Hopefully, this was a quick little pick-me-up,” Fuller said. ‘We just want to say, ‘Here you go and have a great day.’ “

The staff at Windmill said the flowers are just another example of how the community has been very thoughtful, helpful and generous through the whole transition into a new building.

“It made me smile when I saw them walking in. It brightens your day,” said Jolene Price, a Windmill cook. “Everyone has all gone out of their way, and were very flexible and do things that they didn’t have to do.”

The daycare has plans to move back into its building on Monday, and be opened for students on Tuesday.

“This made me smile immediately,” said Joyce Bohannon, a floating lead teacher at Windmill. “It makes you feel that you are not forgotten. All the teachers are under a lot of stress, so it was heartwarming and awesome. I think these people made a huge difference today.”

Make Someone Smile Week was established in 2000. Last year, the program reached 270 cities in the United States and Canada and involved over 5,000 florists. The mugs were donated free of charge by Teleflora. Li’l Flower Shop, Denver Whole Sale Florist, Michaels Wholesale Florist and Amato’s Wholesale Florist supplied the florists and flowers to fill the mugs. About 500 hours went into the project.

“I have been amazed,” Fuller added about the Windsor community. “Nobody has sat around. Everybody has pulled themselves up by the boot straps and has gotten on with it. It’s cleaned up, people are boom, boom and are getting on with it.”

One of the last stops for the flower deliverers was at the Willows assisted living home on Chestnut Street. All six residents who were home during the tornado received flowers Tuesday, and were excited to share the stories about that day in May.

“They love flowers to begin with, and to have people come in and realize what they had been through … this is such a great community,” said Willows owner Rick Bowers. “Quite frankly I think the best thing this tornado did was pull people together, and work side by side with people you don’t know.”