Baskets overflowing with beautiful blossoms once again grace the streets of downtown Ashland. In a year of uncertainty and change, they bring a message of hope and resilience to all who see them.
When fundraising for the flowers began this year, downtown Ashland was essentially closed down due to COVID-19. Asking the traditional donors, such as Kings Daughters’ Medical Center and the downtown merchants to contribute to the flowers seemed inappropriate. Consequently, the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, which purchased the original flower baskets and raises money each year to re-fill them, decided not to solicit funds from the community as it has in the past.
First, the Foundation made a grant from its 21st Century Endowment Fund to help purchase the flowers. It received annual contributions from its long-time partners, the Woodlands Foundation and Marathon Petroleum, and gifts from Andrew W. Jones and Martha McGuire. Finally, an appeal on Facebook brought additional contributions from unnamed donors that wished to support the flower baskets. As it has done every year, the City of Ashland maintains the project by regularly watering and fertilizing to keep the flowers blooming.
The Foundation thanks all who have participated in this project over the years, and looks forward to continuing this annual project to beautify downtown. The dedicated organizations and individuals that keep Ashland blooming each year prove, once again, that Ashland is a community that cares.