One of the first flowers of spring to break through winter’s chill is the beautiful daffodil. So it’s only fitting that the American Cancer Society has chosen this brightly colored, yellow flower to represent its fight against the dreaded disease.

In Pennsylvania, the ACS estimated 79,890 Pennsylvania residents were diagnosed with cancer last year. That same year, the ACS estimated there would be 1,762,450 newly diagnosed cancer cases and 606,880 cancer deaths in the United States.

“The American Cancer Society appreciates all that Greene County does to support the fight against cancer and are looking forward to continuing to grow our Daffodil Program in the county,” Spencer said.

The latest Daffodil Days got underway with the turn of the new year. From now through February 24, daffodil donation orders can be submitted to the area ACS representative. Bunches of 10 yellow daffodils are $10, while pots of three daffodil bulbs, which can be transplanted outdoors later, are $15. Not only will the potted daffodils come back year after year, but they are also deer resistant.

New this year, the campaign is also offering bunches of tulips for $15. Donors may also opt to purchase Gifts of Hope for $25, which ACS volunteers will deliver to patients in hospitals, treatment centers and other local facilities like Rolling Meadows and Washington Health System Greene.

Each year, the daffodils are delivered by truck from the state of Washington and held locally in the refrigerators at the Beer Store in Washington and the Waynesburg Giant Eagle. Volunteers start delivering them as soon as they arrive to pre-order points like high schools, churches and businesses, as well as individuals.

This year, the daffodils are scheduled to arrive the week of March 23. Once delivered, the cut bunches can last as long as 2 to 3 weeks, depending on how hot the recipient’s house is according to Spencer.

Those wanting to purchase daffodils or tulips should phone Dillon Spencer at 724-834-5116, ext. 65283 or email dillon.spencer@cancer.org.

“Daffodil days is a very successful campaign,” added Dan Tobin, director of communication for the Greater Pittsburgh Area of the ACS, which cover 43 counties of Western Pennsylvania. “It comes at the end of a harsh winter when people are ready for spring. What better way to move into a new season than with flowers. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The first national Daffodil Days dates back to 1873, according to Dillon Spencer, senior community development manager for the Greater Pittsburgh Area of the ACS. However, the program was reintroduced to Greene County five years ago, after a 2-year hiatus. The program has since proved successful, judging by the fact that Daffodil Days earned over $5,000 for the ACS in Greene County last year.

All across the United States and Canada, even globally, bunches and pots of daffodils are bought by local businesses, organizations, schools and individual donors. In turn businesses, doctors and lawyers often give them to employees, patients and clients as a way of saying thanks and supporting the efforts of the ACS to combat cancer.

“Cancer touches everyone, either directly or indirectly, and Daffodil Days resonates with everybody through brightly colored flowers,” Tobin continued. “We are so very appreciative of those who participate in our campaign to brighten people’s lives and help fund the ACS.”

Daffodil Days is one of ACS’s biggest fundraisers of the year. The other is the Relay for Life, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 19 at the Waynesburg University Johnson Commons-The Quad.

Participants and survivors can register by visiting relayforlife.org/greenecountypa. Funds raised from this event benefit cancer research grants as well as patient service programs such as the Free Wig Salon at the Washington Health System Greene facility.

For more information on the Relay for Life, contact Spencer at dillon.spencer@cancer.org or phone 724.834.5116, ext. 65283.

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