Sweet smell of spring: lilac tour raising money for north country hospital

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 9:33 AM EDT
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POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - What says spring like lilacs? People are getting a good whiff of their spring glory and helping out a local hospital at the same time.

Is it their aroma wafted on a spring breeze or is it the memories they evoke?

“We had lilacs growing up and mom use to pick off the dead ones at the end of the year so the new ones could grow back, and they’d be healthy and strong,” said Tammy Chen, lilac enthusiast.

There’s something undeniably special about lilacs. People getting up close with them on Tuesday were able to do something else special: help the Canton-Potsdam Hospital Guild.

“We were looking for a new fundraiser. So, we thought we would do a fundraiser that’s also fun and get outside and celebrate spring,” said Cheryl Shumway, Canton-Potsdam Hospital Guild board member.

This week the guild is hosting tours of Moore’s Hill Lilac Farm. People can leave donations for the guild. Donations go to things like the cancer unit and nursing scholarships. The farm is donating 10 percent of all sales.

“They’re just great fun to work with. The hospital guild is an upbeat group of people,” said Janice and Cliff Westerling, Moore’s Hill Lilac Farm co-owners.

There are hundreds of lilac bushes in 50 different varieties at the farm. The tours are a little like a coming-out party for the guild. It has been a tough year. Major fundraisers like last year’s golf tournament were canceled.

It is true the hospital guild had to wind down many of it’s activities for the pandemic. But you’re going to be seeing more and more of them in coming months.

The guild’s golf tournament at Potsdam Town and Country Club is back on. It will be July 10.

If you want to help in the meantime, come smell the lilacs, and maybe buy one or two.

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