Yamaska Valley Optimist Club celebrates International Women’s Day with spring flowers

By Taylor McClure – Special to Brome County News

The Yamaska Valley Optimist Club (YVOC) marks International Women’s Day with tulips and flower bouquets after collaborating with woman-owned business Fleurissima in Brome Lake. Celebrating International Women’s Day is a tradition for YVOC, which also organizes different events to support youth in the area.

This year’s International Women’s Day fundraiser was all about sending a special message and proved to be success.

“Last year we did do an activity, we did an event, and we just felt that this year we just wanted to focus on having a fundraiser that maybe has more a significant message, you know, rather than having an event,” said Judy Henderson, president of YVOC. “We were also thinking with Covid, it’s really difficult to set up zoom activities and the cost involved and the amount of work involved it was huge. We just thought flowers, what could we do with flowers?”

The group decided to collaborate with local business Fleurissima, with owner Debbie Hornig being a member of YVOC. “It just seemed to make sense to help build up her company, team up with her, and do something and it just fell into place,” mentioned Henderson. “We would have liked it to have been on March 7, but we made it throughout the month of March to celebrate International Woman’s Day the whole month.”

Selling over 80 bouquets of tulips and expecting to sell out the bouquets when Brome County News last spoke to Henderson on Friday, the theme for the fundraiser was for everyone to get involved in celebrating International Women’s Day.

“The theme for this was basically, if people have a woman in their life, to celebrate the day buying the tulips and the bouquets and give them to your local teacher, nurse, grandmother, or mother. That was really the idea behind it; for everyone to celebrate in some way,” explained Henderson.

Marking the day has been a tradition for the group over the years. “It is a group of women and we are a diverse group of women. We are women of all ages, we have different nationalities, some of us work, some of us are retired, we all represent the International Women’s Day theme as a group so that has always been an appropriate time for us to do a fundraiser,” noted Henderson.

The fundraiser helps support and raise awareness about the YVOC’s activities helping children in the area. The community stepped up to the plate this year with donors and businesses like Coldbrook, Financière Banque Nationale in Granby, Laborex Construction, and Santé Dentaire Lac-Brome, coming forward as sponsors for the group. Others also gave financial contributions directly to the club, including the Town of Brome Lake and the Fulford Committee.

“There’s a need and children in need in our area, and we don’t want to say no to any of them, and we want to make sure we can give to all of them,” emphasized Henderson. “We are happy they came forward and we are proud to have them as sponsors,” she said, thanking donors for their support.

If you ordered flowers from the YVOC, pick up dates will be on March 12 from 1-3 p.m. for the ‘Breath of Spring’ bouquets and March 19 from 1-3 p.m. for the ‘Joyful Mix’ bouquets at 3 rue Victoria, Knowlton.

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