May 7, 2010
Syngenta’s Plants Find Life Beyond Spring TrialsSource: Syngenta Flowers

For 24 years, the Rotary Club of Gilroy, together with Goldsmith Seeds/Syngenta Flowers, has turned the company’s Spring Trials display into its annual Flower Fest, a unique plant sale and the organization’s biggest fundraiser. Rotary club activities included a luncheon and an auction for members and commenced with the public plant sale on Saturday, April 24. All of the $41,000 raised will be invested back into the local community.

“This even is one of a kind and helps define exactly why we are Rotarians,” said David Cox, co-chair of the Flower Fest. “Our motto is ‘Service Above Self.’ This spirit of community is exemplified by Syngenta Flowers, their staff and the Goldsmith family, all of whom work tirelessly to help put out this event.”

The fundraising aspect isn’t the only benefit. “After spending a week talking to industry representatives about the specifics of our varieties, it’s refreshing to see the joy on the faces of the general public as they enter the greenhouses,” said Joel Goldsmith, head of business development for NAFTA Flowers Professional. “It reminds us all of the pleasure that comes from what we do, which we can sometimes lose sight of. Even after all this time, the Flower Fest is one of my favorite days of the year.”

The Flower Fest draws hundreds of visitors from Gilroy and surrounding towns. Many visitors say the charity, as well as the quality and broad assortment of plants, keep them coming back year after year. And the donations don’t stop there.

With more than 15,000 plants on display at this year’s Spring Trials, Syngenta Flowers is able to support a variety of other local organizations and causes.

Before Flower Fest, Syngenta Flowers donates select plant material and large combination planters to the horticulture program and grounds at Gilroy’s Anchorpoint School and St. Mary’s Church. The San Juan Bautista Chamber of Commerce feature Spring Trials plants in their annual plant sale, which raises funds for activities and groups in that community. Plants are also donated to the Taste of Morgan Hill, where they decorate the event and are sold to raise funds for Morgan Hill, Calif., schools.

After Flower Fest, plants that weren’t sold go on to adorn graduation ceremonies at nearby schools. Finally, Syngenta Flowers varieties resurface at Gilroy’s most famous event, the Gilroy Garlic Festival, where they decorate the stage for the Great Garlic Cook-Off.

For more information about Syngenta Flowers, visit

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