In addition to raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, The Flower Fest also honors a "Flower Child" who has received care at St. Jude each year. Pictured here are Flower Children Cruz Capdeville, Mavis Dumas and June Baker standing in front of The Floral Hive's Lauren Landry's enchanted garden display. Photos by Hoppe Images.

More than flowers: Hear from one of The Flower Fest honorees about the cause behind the blooms

The annual The Flower Fest took place this past weekend at Pointe-Marie, with an array of events, entertainment and artistic structures created by local florists. Each year, the organization raises money for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. A team of honorees helps the annual fundraiser reach bigger goals each year. This year, honoree Sheridan Fay, broker and co-owner of Red Stick Financial, raised some $30,000, helping this year’s honoree group contribute over $70,000 to The Flower Fest’s overall $200,000 fundraising goal.

Read on to hear from Fay herself about the fundraising process and the significance of St. Jude. And if you’re interested in helping The Flower Fest continue to surpass goals, you can enter this raffle, open through tomorrow, April 12, or donate directly to St. Jude here.

Sheridan Fay at this year’s The Flower Fest gala.

Q: What was the fundraising process like?

A: “All they can do is say no.” That was my motto when I found out we would be fundraising as honorees. I wanted to incorporate local businesses in my fundraising efforts and bring them business while we raised money for St. Jude. I immediately reached out to some of my favorite local businesses like Mimosa Handcrafted, Counterspace and Redstick Reads, on how we could fundraise while bringing more business to Mid City. My big idea was to host an event that Baton Rouge has never experienced before and that’s where the idea for our Black Friday Drag Brunch came about. When you believe in what you are doing and see it as fun instead of work, $30,000 just kind of came organically.

Q: Why did you choose to raise money for St. Jude?

A: I have been fundraising for St. Jude since I was at LSU and we did the “Up All Night” initiative at the rec center. One of our fellow LSU Ambassadors was a patient at St. Jude growing up, and we were all inspired by her recovery and getting behind something that meant so much to her. Through The Flower Fest fundraising efforts, it became my mission to make it clear that not only does Louisiana send the most patients to Memphis each year, but that we also have a dedicated affiliate clinic here in Baton Rouge to keep the care of our children here in the community. The ability to help ease the financial burden for a family so that they can focus on each other and the recovery of their child has brought more joy than I can explain.

Q: Are you planning on fundraising again next year? If so, are you looking to break this year’s record?

A: Absolutely! I hope to take on a different role within The Flower Fest organization next year and assist the honorees in reaching their goals. We are creating a business out of everyone’s favorite pink floral phone booth so that it can be rented out year-round with the profits going to the following year’s Flower Fest giveback total. I also plan to make the Black Friday Drag Brunch and Silent Auction an annual event. Can I break my 2023 record? Why not? Everyone loves a challenge… right?