Campus & Community

Harvard Is Again New England’s Top Daffodil Days Fundraiser

3 min read
Carole Lee (left), department administrator for the Office of Government, Community and Public Affairs, bags orders of daffodils with Helene Palmer from the American Cancer Society as part of the University’s Daffodil Days cancer fundraiser.

Just weeks after the American Cancer Society honored Harvard for raising the most money in New England during last year’s Daffodil Days fundraiser, Harvard has done it again, breaking last year’s record to boot.

According to Carole Lee, the University’s Daffodil Days coordinator, Harvard students, staff, and faculty bought $33,335 worth of daffodils, a 17 percent increase over last year’s $28,475 and enough to buy 6,667 bunches of flowers. The daffodils were sold in $5 bunches of 10 flowers each.

Since 1988, Harvard has raised more than $250,000 for the annual fundraiser, Lee said.

The money goes to fund American Cancer Society programs, including grants to researchers working on cures for the disease. One promising area of research financed by the Cancer Society when other funding sources remained skeptical is the development of anti-angiogenesis drugs, which starve tumors by blocking the development of blood vessels to them.

Daffodil Days is one of the American Cancer Society’s three largest annual fundraisers.

Lee thanked the departmental coordinators who led the effort and singled out several of the top sellers, including Peter Conlin from the Development Office, who sold 682 bouquets, Maureen Griffin Leary from the Law School, who sold 604 bouquets, and Jennifer Moltoni and Donna McLean from the School of Public Health, who sold 591 bouquets.

Jennifer Hayes of the Graduate School of Education sold more than 300 bouquets, while Karen Collins at Harvard Business School Publishing Services, Patti Gorman of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Lynne Perry of Harvard Management Company each sold more than 200 bouquets. Selling more than 100 bouquets were Marlesa Adams of the Office of Human Resources, Pam Casey of the Observatory, Erin Duffy of the Business School MBA Course Services, Susan Ehrlich of Harvard Planing and Real Estate, Mary Lampros of the Physics Department, and Janice Rand Vaughn of the Kennedy School.

“Feel proud, you deserve it!” Lee said in an e-mail message to those who worked on this year’s campaign.

Lee also thanked Ursula Moore, manager of Harvard University Mail Services, who has taken over the distribution of the flowers, much to Lee’s relief. Now, instead of having to recruit volunteers to distribute thousands of bunches of daffodils, University Mail Services workers deliver the flowers along with their regular mail deliveries.

In addition to research, Daffodil Days funding goes to cancer detection programs, education, and patient services such as transportation of cancer patients to treatments, one-on-one support for women with breast cancer, tobacco control education, and mammography outreach.

Cancer Society officials said at the beginning of the Daffodil Days campaign that they were hoping to raise $2.8 million this year in New England, up from last year’s $2.6 million.

Research into new cancer treatments has paid off over time. In the past 10 years, five-year cancer survival rates have risen from about 41 percent in the 1980s to more than 60 percent in the 1990s.