Love, INC holds annual sunflower sale

OBSERVER Photo by Mary Heyl Karen McAndrew (left) and Marge Annarino began selling flowers at 9 a.m. on Friday at the Community Bank, N.A. location in Gowanda. All sales benefit the non-profit organization Love In the Name of Christ.

GOWANDA — Despite the rain on Friday, it was sunny in front of the Community Bank, N.A. location on Main Street in Gowanda. Volunteers from Love In the Name of Christ (Love, INC) a non-profit organization comprised of 14 area churches, sold bundles of sunflowers for the third year in a row in front of the bank.

The sunflowers, which sold for $5 per bundle, are one of the main fundraising events of the year for Love, INC. The volunteer-run organization is entirely funded by donations and provides assistance to community members in a variety of ways. Love, INC’s ministries include a food pantry, 2nd Chance Clothing & More, disaster relief, rides for community members to their doctors and the Clean, Sober and Saved recovery program.

Most recently, Love, INC has faced the challenge of a broken front window at their West Main Street building in Gowanda. According to volunteer Karen McAndrew of Otto, the repair is expected to be rather costly, which presents a challenge to the organization.

McAndrew reported that last year’s sale raised almost $1,000, and she hopes this year is just as successful. “We’re here to sell whatever we can from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” she said, as she and Marge Annarino of Perrysburg sold a bundle of flowers to a vehicle leaving the bank’s drive-thru lane. “We were out picking the flowers at about 7 a.m.,” McAndrew explained. Another Love, INC volunteer, who wishes to remain anonymous, grows the sunflowers for the annual sale, and was busy replenishing the supply at the bank on Friday.

McAndrew encourages people to take part in Love, INC’s annual banquet, which is set for Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. at the Gowanda Moose Club. For more information, visit www.gowandaloveinc.org and follow Gowanda Love In the Name of Christ on Facebook.

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