Lewes in Bloom is not exempt from the perils of COVID-19.
In a year where most events have been postponed or outright canceled, the all-volunteer organization is struggling to raise money to fund next year’s plantings.
“We weren’t able to have the fundraisers that we normally have,” said founder Warren Golde. “And we realized that the city’s been having some financial shortfalls and probably will not be able to give us as much money as usual.”
Another hit was when the Lewes Chamber of Commerce canceled the annual Lewes Garden Tour, which pays for a large chunk of the 20,000 bulbs planted each year for the Tulip Celebration.
Lewes in Bloom recently kicked off Bucks for Bloom fundraiser with a goal to raise $50,000. If they reach their goal, Golde said, the funds should cover plants and tulip bulbs for the next year, possibly two.
“I anticipate COVID problems next year also. I think it’s very doubtful we’ll be able to have our fundraisers - our Christmas market and our plant sales - next year as well,” he said. “We definitely can’t plan on it.”
Lewes in Bloom has already placed the order for next year’s tulip bulbs, which are slated to be planted in November.
A large wooden tulip has been erected outside Citizens Bank on Second Street to keep track of the amount raised.
Despite the COVID19 situation, Golde said, Lewes in Bloom volunteers have managed to keep the city looking beautiful. They’ve been working is smaller groups with face masks and social distancing.
“It took a longer time to plant some gardens this year because we couldn’t have as many people at one time,” he said. “A lot of people have commented that they’ve been the one little bit of joy in this horrible time. I think we lift the spirits of the town.”
Lewes in Bloom was founded in 2002. Along with Golde, there were seven other original members. Membership has grown to 280 members, who dedicate more than 10,000 hours each year.
Donations may be made at www.lewesinbloom.org or by sending a check to Lewes in Bloom, P.O. Box 308, Lewes, DE 19958.