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Bunches Direct was delighted to have been selected by the hardworking volunteers at Halo House Foundation to assist with their very special Gala Night event in November 2014. The Halo House challenge: find a vendor to provide a large quantity of fresh and beautiful bulk flowers, on time and ready to assemble, that would be used to decorate Bayou City Center in Houston, Texas, on a limited budget. Enter Bunches Direct!
Halo House Foundation is dedicated to making life better for people with leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.The mission at Halo House is to assist people of all ages who are being treated for a blood cancer by providing them with fully furnished housing at a very low cost while they are undergoing active treatment for their cancer at the Texas Medical Center. Thousands of people come the the Center each year to receive life-saving treatments.They come because care is unavailable locally, or their local treatments have failed. Sadly, many of those people cannot stay in Houston to receive treatment because of the significant costs associated with short term housing. Halo House helps address this.
In 2014, the team of dedicated volunteers at Halo House began to organize their annual Gala to raise funds for their very worthy cause. Planning for the Gala began in March with 75 volunteers helping on various tasks.
A team of 15 was assigned to floral decorations, beginning about four months ahead of the Gala. They collected and painted dollar store vases (very creative!), and then to gathered to receive and prepare the flowers the day before and during the day of the event.
The decorating budget was $1000 maximum. According to Jessica Hazen, one of the key volunteers, they were happy with their choice of Bunches Direct for the flowers: “Bunches Direct was very helpful in this arena with the consultation and the recommendations. Amy and I liked the idea of having three small arrangements on each table versus one large one, meaning a single flower [type] per vase was best; this also minimized the need for greenery. Colors were challenging to decide on because we wanted to use HHF colors (royal blue, gold and white) but Mother Nature doesn’t exactly like using that pallet scheme. I sent BunchesBob a picture of the gold vases I was working on and he/she recommended the deep purple carnations and white roses. The quote was very competitive and the customer service representative was very helpful.”
The team of volunteers followed the care directions provided by Bunches Direct, removing the flowers from packaging, cutting the ends of the stems, and hydrating the flowers in a cool location. They they assembled some beautiful centerpieces to grace the tables at the Gala event. Great job, ladies! Visit our blog on Flower Care 101 to learn more about caring for your own bulk flowers.
The Gala featured a silent auction of about 150 items including original works of art, exquisite jewelry, fine dining, sports memorabilia, “staycations,” travel packages, and so much more. Over 500 guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, dancing and an amazing performance by Cirque Imagination. Sonia Azad from ABC-Channel 13 News, KTRK was the event orchestrator and a volunteer for HH. Andy Serota from Local News 2, KPRC also attended the fun event.
Amy Curtis was the Head Gala Chairperson and her vision was honed in to the emotional experience for attendees. She organized a Step-and-repeat red carpet photographer, the live performances from Cirque Imagination, and a prop-filled photo booth area—all of which were loved by the guests!
One of the highlights of the evening was the performance of an original song by Emily Lipinski, the daughter of one of HH’s previous residents and a cancer survivor. Emily preformed a song she wrote for her mother. Jessica describes the song as “spellbinding,” relaying that “there wasn’t a dry eye in the room while she sang; such raw emotion and feeling was so very touching. Her song made everyone think about why we do the work we do; helping people in their time of need is the core of our humanity.”
Halo House Foundation is thrilled to report that $300,000 was raised through the generous support of the Gala attendees and other donors. The funds are being used to help build the capital campaign for The Halo House building. Jessica explains, “Currently we operate out of an apartment complex close to the Texas Medical Center, renting the apartments for the families to come and call home for their treatment. We are working to finalize details on breaking ground for our very own set of apartment homes!”
Bunches Direct was so pleased to have been part of this amazing event. We look forward to working with Halo House again soon. Visit their website or watch their video to learn more about Halo House Foundation. Check out the beautiful array fresh bulk flowers at Bunches Direct to see some of the selections that might work for your own wedding or event!