Smiles bloom on ‘Petal It Forward’ day

Christina Anderson, title clerk and concierge at Bill Summers Auto Group in North Platte, receives a bouquet Wednesday from Whitney Miller and Madison Irish, who both work at The Flower Market.

Some North Platte residents had a bright treat on a rainy Wednesday: Florists participated in “Petal It Forward,” an annual event in conjunction with the Society of American Florists.

Employees from The Flower Market and Prairie Friends and Flowers handed out random bouquets at Great Plains Health, at the Callahan Cancer Center and at businesses around town.

“I feel like I won a pageant,” said Christine Anderson, title clerk and concierge at Bill Summers Auto Group.

The Flower Market employees Whitney Miller and Madison Irish had just walked into the auto dealership with two bouquets of flowers. Anderson got to keep one and already knew what to do with the second.

“Do I get to petal it forward?” she asked the young ladies, who both grinned and told her yes.

“I’m getting a little misty,” Anderson said.

The Flower Market gave out more than their planned 100 bouquets throughout the day.

“We’ve been making them all day long,” said Sarah Talbott, who said the staff kept an autumn theme in their bouquets. Bouquets included some greenery, “so it’s a full bouquet,” Talbott said.

Lisa Fudge, who owns Prairie Friends and Flowers, “quit counting at 100,” she said.

Both florists visited Great Plains Health and the Callahan Cancer Center. Talbott said the Cancer Center received pink roses, to keep in line with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Fudge said her mother in-law suffered cancer, so that visit was special to her.

“Petal It Forward” began in 2016. It combines the idea that people’s days are improved by receiving flowers with a “pay it forward” gesture.

For The Flower Market, employees’ joy came from receiving hugs, thank-yous and awe-struck reactions on a rainy Wednesday. Talbott made sure the delivery morale was felt by all.

“I made sure everybody got to go out,” she said.

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