West Hartford’s Elmwood Business Association will be bringing back the beautiful planters created by KNOX Inc. for the fifth year in a row.
By Ronni Newton
Elmwood Business Association President Rick Liftig announced Friday at the association’s monthly meeting, held virtually, that he and Elmwood Blooms! promoter Charlie Hillborn had determined that continuing the annual planter program, and asking for financial support amid the extraordinary public health and financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, would not be the right thing to do.
The merchants, however, had another idea, and immediately began sending in emails, pledging their support for at least one planter in support of Elmwood Blooms!
“We’ve had a great initial response and I am happy to say that I totally missed the ball on this one,” said Liftig. “Within minutes we had sponsorships for at least 13 planters.”
Last year, there were 67 planters, beautifying the Elmwood streetscape throughout the summer and fall, and much of the credit for the initiative should be given to Hilborn, of Sheehan Hilborn Breen Funeral Home, who literally pounded the pavement and knocked on the doors of fellow businesses along New Britain Avenue. In addition, there were nearly 30 individuals who made donations ranging from $10 to $200 as “neighbors or friends” to help purchase the planters.
“The KNOX Inc. Green Crew delivered and maintained the planters much to the joy of the entire community and Charlie’s initial vision to help beautify Elmwood became reality thanks to the generosity of the community,” Liftig said.
In order to comply with physical distancing requirements, Hilborn plans to reach out by phone and email to the merchants who have already indicated their support as well as well as to others that did not participate in the virtual meeting.
“I understand that these are demanding times and am so humbled by the initial response,” he said. “We are hoping those who can will consider participating as every little bit will help contribute to another planter.”
Elmwood businesses, residents, and friends who are interested and able to participate in this year’s Elmwood Blooms! are asked to mail checks, made out to KNOX Inc., by May 15, to Charlie Hilborn, 65 Park Place Circle, West Hartford, CT 06110.
Planters will be distributed along New Britain Avenue later this spring.
“In these uncertain times, it would be so amazing to get the support of the community to help the businesses really beautify our part of West Hartford,” said Hilborn. “Thank you very much for your generosity to help bring more smiles to Elmwood and please stay safe neighbors,” he said.
Anyone with questions or who needs additional information can contact Hilborn at 860-559-8722 or email [email protected].
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