June Shouldice 560From left, Cathy Fenton, owner of Cathy's Flowers 'N Treasures and Mini Jacques surprised June Shouldice of Shallow Lake with two yellow roses in downtown Port Elgin, part of their Petal it Forward campaign.

Hub Staff

There was a added sense of happiness in downtown Port Elgin October 19 as nearly 200 people received a surprise gift of two yellow roses from local florist Cathy Fenton, owner of Cathy's Flowers 'N Treasures through her Petal it Forward event.

Fenton said she chose yellow because “yellow is friendship so I thought yellow is a nice idea for a colour."

With the help Mini Jacques, Fenton set out from her store on Goderich Street and delivered over 300 roses to people they encountered. The goal was to boost people's spirits, put a smile on their face, and raise awareness about the power of giving and receiving.

“There's so much happening in the world, there's been so much sadness,” said Fenton, citing the recent killing of concertgoers in Las Vegas and the Tuesday night passing of Canadian rock legend Gord Downie. “I thought, ‘I'm just going to go out and spread the love and make people happy,’” she said.

Fenton saw the idea on a florist to florist Facebook networking page where, through a Society of American Florists initiative, florists randomly surprise people on the street with flowers. “The one in the States was October 11,” said Fenton.

In Saugeen Shores roses were given to people walking, people parked in their vehicles, business owners, staff and customers. Everyone Fenton and Jacques encountered received two roses, one for themselves “and one to give a friend, co-worker, stranger. They can pass it on or do whatever they like with it,” Fenton explained.

“The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on,” she said. “Flowers always make people happy,” she said.

“I think it’s extremely lovely and thoughtful and it brightens someone’s day,” said CIBC Customer Service Representative Melissa Pinnegar receiving her flowers at work.

“It’s amazing. It's a nice way to make people happy,” said Isabel Donnini after being surprised as she sat with her friend in the dining room at the Queen’s Bar and Grill. “It put a smile on my face,” she said.

The flowers also put a smile on June Shouldice’s face. She was visiting from Shallow Lake and was handed the roses while she walked down Goderich Street. “This is very nice,” she said. “I love Port Elgin and Southampton.”

Elgin Jewellers 560From left, Elgin Jewellers owners Charles and Marie Ebenstreit with Stacey Bell after they received their surprise gifts October 19.

Lincoln 560There was a big smile on the face of 3 1/2 month old local Lincoln Moscone after his mom Laura handed him one of her flowers in downtown Port Elgin.

Queens 560The surprise flowers put smiles on the faces of Emily Campbell (left), and Isabel Donnini at the Queen's Bar & Grill October 19.

Casual Corners 560Melissa Simpson-Good of Casual Corners said she would be giving one of her roses to her sister.

Jon 560There was a big smile from Rabbit Dash owner Jon Hepplewhite as he received his rose October 19.

CIBC 560CIBC Customer Service Representative Melissa Pinnegar was pleasantly surprised as Cathy Fenton handed her two yellow roses October 19.

Roses 560From left, Cathy Fenton, Cathy Fleming and Mini Jacques at Cathy's Flowers 'N Treasures with some of the over 300 roses that were handed out as part of the Petal it Forward event October 19.

Flower 560“Enjoy this flower of friendship,” read the note attached to each rose. “The point is not to pay back kindness but to pass it on.”