Kids club event Oct. 31 helps kick off book drive for public libraries

It’s boos and bouquets Oct. 31 when Connells Maple Lee kicks off its annual children’s book drive with a kids club event.

croppedKid's Club 10-31

Children ages 5 to 12 are asked to bring a new children’s book as the price of admission. Participants will make a fall arrangement (photo) and will receive a balloon.

Because the event coincides with Halloween, participants are encouraged to wear their trick-or-treat costumes.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Registration is required by calling your nearest Connells Maple Lee store: 2408 E. Main St., Bexley, 614-237-8653; 2033 Stringtown Road, Grove City, 614-539-4000; and 8573 Owenfield Drive, Powell, 740-548-4082.

The “Bouquets for Books” book drive benefits Bexley Public Library and Delaware County District Library.


We’ve updated our ‘Power of Pink’ arrangement to continue breast cancer awareness efforts

Connells Maple Lee’s fall catalog will arrive in mailboxes just as October ushers in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

croppedPower of Pink (2015)

The catalog includes a new version of our “Power of Pink” arrangement, which is offered year-round to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

The new arrangement features hydrangea and roses in a swirled glass vase and measures 12 inches high and 11 inches wide. It is priced at $56.99 and can be ordered online, over the phone or in-store.

With each arrangement sold, we earmark $10 for breast cancer organizations.

In 2015, that meant a $1,000 donation to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

In the United States, approximately 40,290 women are expected to die from breast cancer in 2015, according to However, death rates have been decreasing since 1989 as a result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.

Thanks to your generosity, our annual food drive collected 240 pounds for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank


Our annual food drive collected 240 pounds of nonperishable items for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

From June 20-27, “Connells Maple Lee Stems Hunger” asked customers to drop off donations at any one of our three Columbus-area stores. In return, donors received a free carnation for each food item, up to a maximum of six carnations per family per visit.

Also participating in the food drive was Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, which has outpatient centers in Grove City and Hilliard.

Photo: Crystal Wells, our manager in Grove City, with a plate signifying that her store collected the most pounds of food.

2015 ‘Bouquets for Books’ library wish lists

Our annual children’s book drive — “Bouquets for Books” — marks its 10th year in 2015.
It benefits Bexley Public Library and Delaware County District Library.
To ensure that the libraries receive the books they need the most, they have provided these wish lists:

Hardcover children’s books

Any books in these series:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Elephant & Piggie by Mo Willems
Fly Guy by Ted Arnold
Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton

Anything by these authors:
Andrea Pinkney
Bill Martin Jr.
Bob Shea
Bryan Collier
Byron Barton
Eric Carle
Jane O’Connor
Jerry Pinkney
Jon Scieszka
Kadir Nelson
Todd Parr
Mo Willems
Laura Numeroff
Karma Wilson
Jan Thomas
David Shannon
Dr. Seuss

‘Bouquets for Books’ children’s book drive returns Oct. 31-Nov. 7

Bouquets for Books logo for web or interactive piecesOur annual children’s book drive is back for another edition.

“Bouquets for Books” returns Oct. 31-Nov. 7 to benefit Bexley Public Library and Delaware County District Library.

For each new children’s book they contribute, donors will receive a free bouquet, up to three per family per visit, while supplies last.

Used books will not be accepted.

You can view the libraries’ wish lists here.

5 ways for children to celebrate National Grandparents Day


Marian McQuade was an expert in grandparenting. A West Virginia mother of 15, she had 43 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

If McQuade’s name doesn’t ring a bill, her work no doubt will. She was the founder of National Grandparents Day, which President Jimmy Carter signed into law in 1978.

National Grandparents Day is held on the first Sunday after Labor Day (Sept. 13 in 2015; Sept. 11 in 2016; Sept. 10 in 2017). September was chosen to signify the autumn years of life, according to Legacy Project.

To help celebrate the holiday, the Connells Maple Lee Kids Club offers five activities that children can do for or with their grandparents:

  1. Send flowers: OK, this is an obvious one, but our founder, Hannah “Mom” Royer, was a doting grandmother and much loved by her grandchildren, as was her husband, Lester.
  2. Make a card: Draw a pretty picture and write a note to tell your grandparents how much they mean to you.
  3. Interview them: Grandma and grandpa have seen and experienced a lot of things in their lives. This handy interview form can help get you started. Listen closely to their answers because you can learn a lot.
  4. Trace your family tree: Here’s a family tree chart that will make it easy to identify the people in your family by generation.
  5. Read a book together: The kids club is a big believer in the power of reading. Here’s a terrific reading list to get you started.

Of course, there is an endless list of things that grandchildren and grandparents can do together.

What are some of your favorites?


Outdoor weddings, weather and having a Plan B


On this particular September wedding day, the misty weather presented some logistical challenges for the bride and groom.

The ceremony that had been planned for a beautiful garden had to be moved indoors on short notice. A ballroom had to be transformed into a beautiful garden setting, complete with an arch and flower-festooned aisle.

As they say, into every life some rain must fall. And it was a good reminder that weather is one variable that no one controls, no matter how good of a wedding planner he or she is.

If you want an outdoor wedding, it’s best to have a Plan B just in case. We all know how variable the weather can be in Ohio, after all.

A number of years ago, the Farmers’ Almanac solicited submissions for its “Worst Wedding Weather Contest.” After Texas and Florida, Ohio tied Pennsylvania and Indiana for the most submissions.

Couples from those states “have experienced the soggiest, snowiest, windiest, most hurricane-hampered and hail-ridden wedding weather,” according to the Farmers’ Almanac.


So what should you consider when it comes to creating that Plan B for your outdoor wedding? There are many factors, none more important than the safety and well-being of the wedding couple and their guests.

An article from wedding expert Nina Callaway offers “10 tips for the perfect outdoor wedding.”

Of course, we’re pretty protective of the flowers, too.

We were on hand for that misty September wedding mentioned above. Being a perishable product, flowers require a tender touch. While do-it-yourself can be tempting when it comes to flowers (and other aspects of a wedding), it’s also comforting when a professional is on hand, in good weather and bad.

A florist will ensure that your flowers look their beautiful best. Unlike the weather, this is an aspect of your wedding that you can control.

Third-grader Landon Brown wins Connells Maple Lee Kids Club birthday card design contest

Landon Brown

His mother describes Landon Brown as an “outdoors kid” who enjoys bugs and creeks, riding his bike, playing soccer. The Galena third-grader also has a creative side.

“He’s more creative with Legos and models,” said Lynnee Brown, “but he does love to draw.”

His drawing of a cake, balloons and presents was plenty good enough to win the Connell Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts Kids Club birthday card design contest.

In fact, it will grace the electronic card that Connells Maple Lee Kids Club members will receive on their birthdays in the coming year. For Landon’s effort, he will receive a flower delivery on his next birthday.

The kids club is free to ages 5 to 12. With parental permission, children may register for the kids club at any Connells Maple Lee store or online at

Connells Maple Lee Kids Club celebrates start of new school year with free event Aug. 22


2015 Back to School

Before they go back to school, they can go back to the Connells Maple Lee Kids Club.

We’ll celebrate the start of a new school year with a free kids club event Aug. 22 in each of our stores.

Children ages 5 to 12 will have an opportunity to create an arrangement adorned with a “back-to-school” stick-in. Participants also will receive a free balloon.

Time slots are available at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration is required by calling your nearest Connells Maple Lee store.

Connells Maple Lee donates $1,000 to Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research

croppedCML donation to Stefanie Spielman Fund

Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts has donated $1,000 to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

The donation reflects proceeds from the sale of Connells Maple Lee’s Power of Pink bouquet, which is available year-round. With every bouquet sold, the florist earmarks $10 for breast cancer organizations.

The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research supports breast cancer research, including genetics, as well as technology needs for research, patient care, medical education and training on breast cancer at the OSUCCC – James.

Photo: Andrew Royer, regional vice president, Connells Maple Lee Flowers & Gifts, and Erika Beasley, assistant director, community partners program at the OSUCCC-James.