An annual ladies’ night event at Waukesha Floral & Greenhouses last month generated excitement and sales for the Wisconsin business — and funds for a veteran to make a memorable trip to Washington, D.C.
“Howl at the Moon,” now in its 11th year, is a much-anticipated fall fête complete with refreshments, merchandise sales and a floral fashion show. It has always been tied to a charitable cause; past events have benefitted a shelter for victims of domestic violence, an art therapy program for developmentally disadvantaged people and a network that helps seniors stay in their homes. This year, the business chose to support Stars and Stripes, which organizes honor flights for Wisconsin veterans to visit the memorials on the National Mall and experience a day of honor and thanks for their service.
Owner Marty Loppnow said the idea came through his wife, Jane, who was a chaperone on such a trip with her father, a World War II veteran. “It changed all of our lives,” he said. “My father-in-law has since passed away, but it was a memory that he cherished.”
The “Howl” theme this year was “Hunks and Hotties.” The staff showed clips from memorable military movies starring actors Bradley Cooper, Richard Gere, Will Smith and more, which designers recreated in floral vignettes. “We thought supporting a charity that honors the men and women who keep us free would be a nice tie-in,” Loppnow added.
Attendees reacted very enthusiastically when they heard this year’s event supported Stars and Stripes. “The women really dug deep to buy raffle tickets,” Loppnow said. “We raised $685, which will support one veteran’s trip and then some.”
After the event, the shop posted a note of thanks to attendees, along with photos from a past honor flight to show what they have made possible. The post got a flurry of likes and shares and positive notes, such as “So happy to have helped contribute to this fantastic cause!”
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor of the Society of American Florists.