April 23, 2014
11:50 pm

Blossomtime Vets Honored

Two long time, deeply devoted and dedicated Blossomtime backers have been named as Volunteers of the Year by the Blossomtime Festival organization.

Gertie Johnson and Paul Florin have been revealed as the recipients of the prestigious Gordon w. Hosbein Volunteer of the Year Award for 2013 and will be honored throughout the coming year's festival events including the 2014 Blossomtime Grand Floral Parade.  The two have earned Blossomtime patron membership and will be the organization's guests at all of the events related to Blossomtime in 2014.

Gertie's love for the festival dates back to 1967 when she co-chaired the Blossomtime Fashion Show.  Five years later she became the outright Chair of the show and remains in that role to this day.  She has played a major role in the organization over the years in a variety of capacities including co-chair of the Grand Floral Ball, work with the Key to Cities Tour, Grand Floral Parade and the Blessing of the Blossoms.  She was also the first woman elected President of the board and the first woman President of the organization in 1984.  

Paul has been a resident of the community since 1924 and his first exposure to Blossomtime was as a trombonist in the Benton Harbor High School Junior Marching Band.  For many years he served as chair of the emergency first aid crew along the parade route and soon became a member of the board and served as organizational President in 1974. The Florin Family has generously sponsored the "Blessing of the Blossoms" since it was inaugurated as an official activity launching Blossom week each year.  
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