When a New York venue had to cancel a tulip event because of the coronavirus restrictions, they donated hundreds of flowers to a nearby senior living community.

After a few long months spent sheltering in place, the residents of a New York senior living community got a sweet surprise. Earlier this year, the nearby Mohonk Mountain House had planted 20,000 tulips in 70 different varieties in anticipation for the venue’s second annual tulip festival. When the festival was canceled due to the coronavirus restrictions, the team at Mohonk Mountain House wanted people to be able to enjoy the flowers, so they donated hundreds of fresh blooms to Woodland Pond, a senior living center in New Paltz, New York.

buckets of tulips in the back of a car
Carloads of freshly-cut tulips were delivered to the Woodland Pond senior living community in New Paltz, New York.
| Credit: Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

For the would-be festival-goers, Mohonk Mountain House created a virtual tour of the tulips, which took place during the last week of May and is currently available to watch on their website. But Kate Weston Smiley, a member of Mohonk Mountain House's founding family, wanted to be sure that some people got to enjoy the flowers in real life too.

She worked alongside a group of four other women to harvest hundreds of tulips and deliver them to Woodland Pond so the seniors could enjoy the freshly-cut flowers. Giant buckets of tulips were personally delivered to the community and in addition to placing flower arrangements around the facility, a large table of tulips was set up in a gathering space so the residents could create their own flower bouquets.

older women arranging tulips in vases
Community residents at Woodland Pond made their own flower arrangements with the fresh tulips.
| Credit: Courtesy of Mohonk Mountain House

Dozens of residents were able to put together their own tulip arrangements to brighten up their rooms, and some even delivered vases of the fresh blooms to friends and other residents. 

And while Mohonk Mountain House is hoping for a successful in-person festival next spring, they’re happy the blooms could still be enjoyed this year. “We’re delighted that our virtual tulip festival became a joyful festival in real life for the residents of Woodland Pond,” says Tom Smiley, chief executive officer at Mohonk Mountain House.

This small act of kindness made a big difference for the seniors in the community and is a reminder that good things are still happening in these stressful and uncertain times. 


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