HERMISTON - Signs of spring were in the air Tuesday at Swain Motors as volunteers assembled bouquets of bright yellow daffodils in blue vases.

The bouquets were delivered throughout Hermiston and Umatilla by volunteers and members of Umatilla High School's Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

The volunteers assembled 5,000 daffodils into bouquets for Daffodil Days, an annual fund-raiser by the American Cancer Society. The daffodils are the traditional first flower of spring in the northwest. They were pre-sold to businesses, professional organizations, schools, churches and individuals in the area.

Sales were down from last year - 7,000 were sold in 2002 and 5,000 this year - for various reasons including the economy and a lack of publicity, Cece Delfs, chairman of the fund-raiser, said. But Umatilla city sales were up, Nancy Iveson, adviser of the Umatilla FCCLA added, thanks to the hard work of the FCCLA. This was the fourth year the FCCLA has helped with the fund-raiser.

"We need more representatives in our schools and community," Delfs said.

She would like to set up at local home and garden shows next year, using daffodils in designs and bouquets to promote the event. Delfs took over the Daffodil Days sales five years ago when Lori Armstrong, the original chairman, moved from the community.

"Swain Motors is a facilitator and provides a great site to assemble the bouquets," Delf said. "The girls from FCCLA are wonderful. They helped put the bouquets together, sell and deliver them."

Daffodils Days 2004 will be sometime around March 9 and the flowers sales are conducted in February. To volunteer for the 2004 Daffodil Days call Delfs at 567-2277.

Carol Marcum is the Community Editor in the East Oregonian's Hermiston Bureau. She can be reached at 1-800-522-0255 (ext. 1-303) or by e-mail: cmarcum@eastoregonian.com.

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