The flowers at the center of each and every table this Sunday morning at the Bunker Hill Associates power-packed breakfast won’t come from a fancy downtown floral gallery.
Instead, they’ll come from the hands of 10-year-olds from Charlestown – kids in a program at the Boys and Girls Club that is funded by the Associates and likely one of the only Floral Schools for kids in the entire city.
The new program has become an instant hit at the Charlestown Boys and Girls Club, said Director Derek Gallagher this week. Under the tutelage of art teacher Adrienne Weston, the program has had great interest from the kids, with about 50 or 60 involved at one time or another.
“The floral business, particularly for weddings is huge and it’s growing and is a form of art that I love,” she said. “It’s been fun for the kids to try it out and come into the lab and learn about floral design. It’s also a skill kids could learn now and maybe do as a profession later…There are a couple of kids who have told me they want to become florists down the road. It has opened up the world of design and art too. We’re a very hands-on class. We learn about color, shape and positive/negative space…It’s actually the very first floral club I have ever heard of.”
Gallagher said he had the idea when Weston – who has taught art at the Club for a few years and moved to Charlestown three years ago – brought in flowers for a class. Weston also has her own floral design business on the side, and works a number of wedding jobs throughout the year. Gallagher asked her if she might have an interest in teaching floral design to the kids in a sort of lab class.
She thought it was a good idea, and so a program was born.
“I told her it’s a life skill,” he said. “Whether it’s something they want to pursue as a career later in life, or they’re just buying flowers for their girlfriend, you should know what you want…The response has been great and the kids have taken to it.”
That’s when the Bunker Hill Associates stepped to the plate to fund the program within its new grant program format. The Club applied for the funding, and the Associates felt it a worthy program.
Now, as a sort of ‘thank you,’ and to showcase their skills, the kids are going to be making the centerpieces for the blockbuster Bunker Hill Associates Breakfast that precedes the Battle of Bunker Hill Day Parade – often attracting politicians and dignitaries from the top rung of Massachusetts and Boston circles.
The designs had begun to get started early this week (we hear that Bunker Hill flags fit into the mix somewhere), but the real work is to start on Friday.
“I’ve really tried to express to the kids how special it is because not every kid gets to design flowers for a really big community event,” said Weston. “It’s an honor, but maybe it hasn’t sunk in yet because it is our first community event.”
Weston said she was personally honored to be able to head up such a fun activity for the kids, and also to get a chance to show off new-found skills at the breakfast.
“I love Charlestown and it’s become a really special place,” she said. “It’s this really tight-knit community and it’s incredible.”
•TALENT SHOW TONIGHT, BIG DAY SCHEDULED SATURDAY
One of the most exciting changes to this year’s Charlestown Pride Week format has been the creation of a new talent show tonight, June 13, known as Charlestown’s Got Talent.
Scores of young and old have signed up to be part of the show, which will be on a stage with a professional sound system and a panel of judges – just like the television show.
The talent show will include just about anything, and one cannot be sure what they will see there – aside from some talented Townies.
Associates President Robert Beckwith said he is very excited for the new entry, and will actually be one of the judges in the contest. The identity of the other judges is still under wraps.
The show will take place in Eden Street/McCarthy Park at 6:30 p.m.
*The other giant entry into the week of fun is the Family Fun Day that will take place on Saturday, June 15, in Eden Street/McCarthy Park.
This is patterned after the old-style block parties that used to happen during Bunker Hill week in Charlestown, and the Associates are bringing back that same energy with the Fun Day.
The morning begins with the long-standing Edna Kelly’s Doll Carriage Parade at 10 a.m., sponsored by Edward Kelly and the David Whelan Scholarship Foundation.
That will morph into a major music and family fun celebration from noon to 5 p.m. in the park. Acts include the local Bunker Hillbillies on their reunion tour, as well as a country band from Connecticut.
Other upcoming events include:
FRIDAY, JUNE 14
*Bunker Hill Flag Raising Ceremony (City Hall), noon (could be cancelled if the Bruins win the Stanley Cup due to victory parade).
*Chief Marshal’s Banquet sponsored by the J.W. Conway Bunker Hill Post, 7 p.m., Charlestown Knights of Columbus.
SATURDAY, JUNE 15
*Chamber of Commerce Open Market – Saturday, June 15, Bunker Hill Mall, 10 am. To 3 p.m.
*World War I Her Square Dedication, Essex/Main Streets, Saturday, June 15, 11 a.m.
*Concert on the Monument sponsored by the Parade Committee and National Parks Service, 6 p.m. on the Monument grounds.
SUNDAY, JUNE 16 *33rd Annual Bunker Hill Associates breakfast, Charlestown Knights of Columbus.