Sep 30, 2016
AFE Fundraising Dinner a Success

The American Floral Endowment‘s (AFE’s) biggest fundraising event of the year, the 2016 Annual Fundraising Dinner, honored industry champions and raised money for floriculture.

The dinner, attended by nearly 300 industry members, took place Sept. 22, in conjunction with the Society of American Florists‘ Annual Convention in Maui, Hawaii.

The event included the screening of AFE’s new video that highlights floriculture success stories, recognizing donors reaching new giving levels, and live Hawaiian entertainment.

The highlight of the evening recognized five families/organizations that created new named funds. Over the past five years, 19 named funds have been created, totaling more than $3.5 million.

New Named Funds:

  • BioWorks Fund – $50,000
  • Blackmore Family Fund – $100,000
  • Carlstedt’s LLC Fund – $27,000
  • Tagawa Family Fund – $105,000
  • Yoshimi and Grace Shibata Family Fund – $200,000

BioWorks also partnered with AFE in 2007 by creating the BioWorks IPM/Sustainable Practices Scholarship that awards students with $1,000 per year.

The endowment also recognized the following donors for reaching new giving levels:

Builders Club (more than $25,000 in giving)

  • Accent Décor
  • Gardens America
  • Mayesh Wholesale Florist, Inc.

Benefactors Club (more than $20,000 in giving)

  • Golden Flowers

Patrons Club (more than $15,000 in giving)

  • Billy Heroman’s
  • The Queen’s Flowers

Additional dinner highlights:

  • Honored outgoing Chairman Gabriel Becerra and incoming Chairman Dwight Larimer, as well as welcomed new Trustees David Boulton and Pat Dahlson.
  • Presented a video honoring Shimi Shibata and his legacy in the floral industry.
  • Recognized AFE’s Young Professionals Council members who were in attendance.
  • Teleflora’s second annual Tom Butler “Floral Retailer of the Year” Award, presented to Carmen Cosentino of Cosentino’s Florist. Teleflora established the award in honor of former Teleflora chairman and former AFE chairman, Tom Butler, who was a longtime advocate for the endowment.

More highlights from the dinner can be found in AFE’s dinner program.

More than $80,000 in sponsorships was raised to offset administrative and dinner expenses, allowing more funding for research, grants and educational efforts that benefit the entire floral industry.




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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.

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