AFE’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the 2016 Annual Fundraising Dinner, was an exciting and momentous evening, honoring industry champions and raising money for floriculture.
The dinner, attended by nearly 300 industry members, was held on Sept. 22 in conjunction with the Society of American Florists’ Annual Convention in Maui, Hawaii.
The event included the screening of AFE’s new video that highlights floriculture success stories, recognizing donors reaching new giving levels, and live Hawaiian entertainment.
The highlight of the evening recognized five families/organizations that created new named funds. Over the past five years, 19 named funds have been created, totaling more than $3.5 million. View more photos here.
New Named Funds:
- BioWorks Fund – $50,000
For more than 20 years, BioWorks has been helping customers in the horticulture, specialty agriculture, and turf markets. The focus of BioWorks has consistently been on providing environmentally-responsible, safe and effective products and tailored programs for managing plant diseases, pests, nutrition and health – and on providing knowledge and leadership to their distribution partners and growers.
BioWorks is a founding member of the BioPesticide Industry Alliance and is continuously reinventing the way its customers work by providing biologically-based, integrated, safe solutions. BioWorks also partnered with AFE in 2007 by creating the BioWorks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship that awards students with $1,000 per year.
- Blackmore Family Fund – $100,000
Blackmore Company is a producer and distributor of horticulture supplies and equipment. Founded by Fred Blackmore Sr. in 1966 and currently managed by his son Skip and his grandson Scott, they have been able to celebrate 50 years in business due to the support of their loyal customers and the help of their dedicated employees – several of which have worked for the company for over 30 years.
- Carlstedt’s LLC Fund – $27,000
Distributors of quality cut flowers and floral accessories, Carlstedt’s LLC has 15 locations in six states serving the Southeast U.S. with e-commerce site FlowerGeneral.com, powered by Carlstedt’s LLC.
- Tagawa Family Fund – $105,000
The Tagawa family started in 1967 with Frank Tagawa and his five sons producing vegetable transplants for their truck farming operations. During the 1970s through the ’90s, the family produced cut flowers and was an integral part of DWF Wholesale Florist. Today, the family has three main companies which include Tagawa Greenhouses — the production company producing young plants; Tagawa Gardens — a premier garden center in Colorado; and Ball Tagawa Growers — a partnership with Ball Horticultural Company producing young plants for the west coast market.
Their philosophy is to work hard, take care of their employees and keep the family together. The Tagawa family recognizes the importance of giving back to the industry and staying involved. Ken Tagawa is a past AFE Trustee and SAF Floriculture Hall of Fame recipient, and his son Randy currently serves on AFE’s Board.
- Yoshimi and Grace Shibata Family Fund – $200,000
Founded by a generous contribution from the Shibata family, the fund honors the legacy of Yoshimi “Shimi” and his wife Grace and their accomplishments in the floral industry. Shimi passed away on Oct. 31, 2015 at 100 years old. Shimi was a past president of the Mt. Eden Floral Company and led the company for more than 55 years. Shimi served on the AFE Board of Trustees and the boards of several other industry organizations. In 2006 Shimi published his autobiography, “Across Two Worlds: Memoirs of a Nisei Flower Grower.”
Shimi married Grace in 1947 and they had three children — Naomi, Robert and Michael. His grandson Alex began working for Mt. Eden in 2011, so his legacy continues into its fourth generation. Watch the new video about Shimi and Grace.
The Endowment also recognized the following donors for reaching new giving levels:
Builders Club (more than $25,000 in giving)
- Accent Décor
- Gardens America
- Mayesh Wholesale Florist, Inc.
Benefactors Club (more than $20,000 in giving)
- Golden Flowers
Patrons Club (more than $15,000 in giving)
- Billy Heroman’s
- The Queen’s Flowers
Additional dinner highlights:
- Honored outgoing Chairman Gabriel Becerra and incoming Chairman Dwight Larimer, as well as welcomed new Trustees David Boulton and Pat Dahlson.
- Recognized AFE’s Young Professionals Council members who were in attendance.
- Teleflora’s second annual Tom Butler “Floral Retailer of the Year” Award, presented to Carmen Cosentino of Cosentino’s Florist. Teleflora established the award in honor of former Teleflora Chairman and former AFE Chairman, Tom Butler, who was a longtime advocate for the Endowment.
More highlights from the dinner can be found in AFE’s dinner program.
The success of the dinner each year would not be possible without the sponsors who contribute their names and financial support to the event. More than $80,000 in sponsorships was raised to offset administrative and dinner expenses, allowing more funding for research, grants and educational efforts that benefit the entire floral industry.