Free Flowers for a Year, Help Send Care Packages to Deployed Troops

Local florists partner with LMHS Military Support Program to raise funds.

Fort Myers, FL, January 22, 2010 --( Two Lee County florists, Ruth Messmer Florist and Bumble Bee’s Florist and Gift Shop, have joined forces with the Lee Memorial Health System Military Support Program to raise money to help offset the escalating cost of mailing care packages to deployed soldiers.

Purchase a special Flower Power card through the LMHS Military Support Program for just $20 and you’ll receive 12 free bouquets of flowers – one each month of the year beginning this month.

“This is a win-win for our troops and for everyone in our local community who loves to purchase flowers for someone special,” says Kim Gaide, LMHS employee and Military Support Program Coordinator. “We wanted to come up with a fresh idea for a fundraiser to offset the rising cost of postage, and this idea just took root.”

Since the LMHS Military Support Program began in 2003, more than 29,000 pounds of care packages have been sent to deployed troops overseas.

“When we first began the program it cost $6.35 per box to ship a care package. Today, that same package costs $10.70 per box,” says Gaide. “We send boxes every month to let our soldiers know we haven’t forgotten them, but with escalating postage costs it’s becoming much more challenging to keep that pace.”

All monies raised from the Flower Power cards will go directly to paying for postage, says Gaide. In return for purchasing the card, participants will receive special themed bouquets from Ruth Messmer Florist or Bumble Bee’s Florist and Gift Shop each month, such as the “Love Bunch” for February, “Patriotic Bouquet” for July and “Fall Boo-Kay” for October.

“Both florists have been long-time supporters of the Military Support Program, and this is just one more way they can personally get involved and help support deployed soldiers from Southwest Florida,” says Gaide.

Cards will be available to purchase through the end of January; however, quantities are limited. The free monthly bouquet applies to carry out orders only, and some other restrictions apply around certain holidays.

“It makes ‘scents’ to act fast and get in on this great deal,” says Gaide. “Where else can you get a year’s worth of flowers for free and help support our soldiers at the same time?”

Cards are available through the LMHS Military Support Program by calling Kim Gaide directly at 239-343-9690, or by mailing a check made payable to the LMHS Military Support Program to:
LMHS Military Support Program
P.O. Box 2218
Fort Myers, FL 33902

All questions about the program should be directed to Kim Gaide, Lee Memorial Health System, Military Support Program Coordinator, at 239-343-9690.

Participating Florists

Ruth Messmer Florist (2 locations)
3366 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

8695 College Parkway (in the Atrium), Fort Myers
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Bumble Bee’s Florist and Gift Shop
3512 Del Prado Blvd South, Cape Coral
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

About the Lee Memorial Health System Military Support Program
Lee Memorial Health System began its Military Support Program in May 2003 when families of recently deployed employees to Iraq were at risk of having their utilities shut off. Today, the program has mushroomed into a community-wide effort which has been recognized by the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program, earning the prestigious ESGR “Five Star Above and Beyond Award” in 2008. To date, more than 29,000 pounds of care packages have been sent overseas to deployed troops and more than 950 local soldiers have been sponsored through the program.

The LMHS Military Support Program provides support to the troops year-round and relies on community involvement and donations to meet the needs. Visit to learn how to help.

Lee Memorial Health System
Erika Houser
239 278 3900