Online showcase benefits Dream Foundation program
Experts in floral design, interior design, photography and art are judging “Flower Empower Blooms: Floral Arts Showcase,” Dream Foundation’s first floral arts competition that is taking place online at dreamfoundation.org/flower.
The deadline to vote is at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Winners will be announced May 15.
Youth, amateur and professional contestants from across the nation are competing in seven categories: Tablescape, Headpiece, Hand-tied Bouquet, Orchid Display, Contemporary, Garden Photography and Master Garden Still Life Painting.
The online competition is raising funds for the Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower volunteer-driven program that delivers floral bouquets, fresh-baked cookies, fine chocolates and cards to people in need of comfort and cheer in hospices, cancer centers and their homes in the Santa Barbara area.
To date, volunteers have assembled and delivered more than 110,000 bouquets. Since the beginning of 2020, Flower Empower has delivered 25,000 bouquets and orchids to frontline and essential workers.
“Flower Empower Blooms is running instead of Dream Foundation’s 11th annual Flower Empower luncheon due to the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 and to keep the community it loves safe,” said Kisa Heyer, chief executive officer. “While we miss being able to gather for our annual luncheon, we felt this was a lovely way to engage with our Flower Empower friends and everyone who loves flowers and art.”
Entries will be judged by an online “people’s vote” to decide which will go forward for the star judges to pick final winners for each class in every category.
One grand prize winner will be randomly selected from the 21 finalists and will receive a two-night stay, dinner for two, plus two spa treatments at El Encanto Hotel, A Belmond Hotel, Santa Barbara.
A people’s vote grand prize winner will receive a two-night stay at the Hotel Californian. Both prizes will also include a 48-hour rental from Tesla.
Star judges include Penelope Bianchi, “Montecito maven and divine decorator;” Erika Carter, “inspirational artist and ardent supporter of the arts;” Holly Chapple, Holly Heider Chapple Flowers, “aka the Flower Mamma, couture floral designer, mentor and trend-spotter;” Joost Bongaerts, Florabundance, “flower mogul, brilliant business leader and beloved benefactor;” and Dewey Nicks, “master fashion and celebrity photographer, big-brand commercial director and filmmaker.”
Others are Toine and Kandie Overgaag, Westerlay Orchids, “orchid aficionados, admired entrepreneurs and much-loved philanthropists;” Mindy Rice, Mindy Rice Floral and Event Design, “wedding planner extraordinaire;” Christina Rottman, Christina Rottman Designs, “genius residential and commercial designer with a flair for high fashion and a feel for luxury;” and Alicia Schwede, Flirty Fleurs, “flower blogger, author of ‘Bella Bouquets’ and editor-in-chief of Flirty Fleurs Magazine.”
“Flower Empower Blooms is for flower and art lovers across the nation,” said Ms. Heyer. “The categories cover every field in the floral arts from youth entrants to seasoned professionals, and everyone can take part in the people’s vote.”
To raise further funds for Flower Empower, Fabulous Florals is donating a percentage of sales for Dream Spring Flower Boxes, available for online purchase through May 15. Retailing at $125 per box, plus shipping, boxes offer a choice of all-white or colorful spring flowers, including peonies, tulips, stock, Sweet William, ranunculuses, carnations, scented geraniums, spray roses and sweet peas.
Kim Curtis of TOAST Santa Barbara, Flower Empower’s 2020 Florist of the Year, offers expert guidance on arranging the blooms in an exclusive video available for viewing with every Dream Spring Flower Box purchased.