The Society of American Florists’ annual fundraiser for its political action fund tallied more than $40,000 in contributions, pledges and sponsorship dollars at SAF Orlando 2022 — breaking last year’s record of just over $35,000. Twenty-six SAF members contributed $1,000 or more in 2022 — an all-time high for the Gold Club contribution level.
This year’s SAFPAC party fundraiser featured an “SAF’s Got Talent” entertainment segment. Attendees voted with their wallets and crowned Angel Brown of Details Flowers, who impersonated Beyonce, the winner. Other talent acts included Williee Armellini of Flowersandcents.com playing the harmonica; SAF Director of Development Sheila Santiago ballroom dancing and Tim Farrell, AAF, AIFD, PFCI of Farrell’s Florist in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania designing flowers while blindfolded. “Votes” for the talent competition netted nearly $10,000 in pledges to SAFPAC. *(Click here to see more pictures of the event.)
SAFPAC is the only national political action committee dedicated to advocating for the floral industry. One hundred percent of the cost of each ticket for the event, along with money raised during the talent competition, will be used to help elect floriculture-friendly members of Congress.
SAF focuses its contributions on members of Congress who influence the industry’s top legislative and regulatory priorities. At the fundraiser, SAF Senior Lobbyist Joe Bischoff highlighted some of SAF’s big advocacy wins and emphasized the important role that SAFPAC plays in the strategy to get those wins across the finish line. In recent years, SAF has contributed to members of the House and Senate Agricultural Appropriations committees because of their role determining floriculture research funding — and in this budget cycle, both the House and Senate recommended significant funding increases for the Floriculture Nursery & Research Initiative. Members of the Ways and Means Committee are also key targets, given the committee’s jurisdiction over issues related to trade, taxes and GSP.
“A strong SAFPAC helps amplify SAF’s voice on Capitol Hill,” Bischoff says. “We need to keep the momentum for SAFPAC going as we head into election season and build relationships with a new Congress in 2023.”
Want to learn more about SAFPAC? The first step is signing a prior approval form online. This allows SAF to communicate with you about what SAFPAC is doing and alert you to future SAFPAC events. This permission is required by law. Questions? Contact Katie Butler.
Katie Butler is the senior vice president of the Society of American Florists.