Some hadn’t smiled in a long time. But there were plenty of happy faces this week at two Jacksonville nursing homes, thanks to Deerwood Florist and Jacksonville Florist.


Eighty residents of Life Care Center on Lenoir Avenue and 40 at All Saints Nursing Home on Blanding Boulevard were treated to bright yellow smiley face mugs filled with yellow and white daisies.

The occasion was Make Someone Smile Week, the floral industry’s leading charity program. Teleflora member florists across the country created daisy arrangements in containers donated by Teleflora. In Jacksonville, Bert Williams with Deerwood is the only Jacksonville florist who has taken part every year since the program’s inception in 2000.

“It’s very rewarding to give excitement and joy to people, and it’s rewarding and enjoyable for our staff to participate,” Williams said.

Ellen Schubert, director of admissions at Life Care, said the Be Happy Bouquets brightened the residents’ day and made them feel special. Some were thrilled because they don’t get anything that often, she said.

Here’s more good news:

■ People usually bowl for entertainment or league play. But some residents recently went “Bowling for Rhinos.” Yes, the large horned animals. And they raised $11,000, a 50 percent increase over last year, for three rhino sanctuaries in Kenya, Java and Sumatra. The Jacksonville zoo’s chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers sponsored the event, which included a silent auction, at the Batt Family Fun Center on Casset Avenue. Members collected sponsors and bowled three games. More than 70 chapters nationwide participated, a news release said.

■ About 120 backpacks will be given away at Verizon Wireless at The Cellular Connection at 13820 Old St. Augustine Road, Suite 205. That’s one backpack per child while supplies last from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2. They will be filled with such items as pencils, paper, a pencil box, folders and glue. It’s part of a national campaign in which 100,000 backpacks will be dispersed at more than 350 stores. Since March, customers were given the option to round their purchases to the nearest dollar with the difference going to the backpack giveaway, a news release said.

■ The Girl Scouts of the Gateway Council recently received 10 netbook computers and free Comcast services, including high speed Internet and cable television. The gift from Comcast will enable the council to train girls and adult volunteers, CEO Mary Anne Jacobs said in a news release.

■ Fleet Landing residents recently bowled — Wii style — to raise money for Alzheimer’s and dementia research. It was part of a National Senior Wii Bowling Day created by the National Senior League Alzheimer’s Foundation. Seniors donated $5 to participate in the event with the foundation matching the total raised.

At Fleet Landing in Atlantic Beach, 31 residents participated. They contributed $265, more than double last year’s total. This year, they were allowed a three-day span to bowl, compared to last year’s one day, a news release said.

■ The Northeast Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross presented the following awards at its recent annual business meeting and volunteer celebration: Jackie Howell, Exceptional Youth Volunteer Award; Jennifer Lovell and Edward Howard, Youth Team Excellence Award; John Mitchell, Military Services Exceptional Volunteer Award; Amanda Hall, Disaster Services Exceptional Volunteer Award; Georgiana McNamara, Health & Safety Exceptional Volunteer Award; Beth Stophel, Office of Volunteers Exceptional Volunteer Award; Max Ervanian, Volunteer Life Saving Corps Award; Candace Kohler, Dave Maranville and Mike Moran, Team Excellence Award; Enterprise Integration, the Business Partnership Award; Roosevelt Beckwith, Madge Blue Award; Amanda Hall, Louise Clark Award; Lynn Esposito, Harry Kincaid Award and Jackie Wade, Jane Harrell Award.


Have good news? You can fax it to (904) 359-4478 or mail to The Florida Times-Union, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231., (904) 359-4128.