“We’re grateful for our loyal customers whose support makes it possible for us to give back to these incredible organizations that work every day to improve lives in our communities,” said Tom Royer, president and CEO of Royer’s Flowers.
“As a company, we’ve enjoyed the gift of loyal support from our customers for more than 85 years,” said Tom Royer, CEO of Lebanon-based Royer’s. “It’s important to us to return that generosity to organizations such as the food bank that are providing such a valuable service to our communities.”
Royer’s operates 16 stores in Adams, Berks, Dauphin, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.
“This generous gift from Royer’s Flowers & Gifts will help us meet our mission and provide healthy meals for our neighbors in need,” said Joe Arthur, CEO of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
“This is especially true right now, when so many face tough choices between paying rent, gas and medical bills or buying food,” Arthur said, noting that as 2023 draws to a close, the food bank is serving its 27-county service territory at higher levels than at the peak of the pandemic.
Royer’s Flowers & Gifts has presented 2,300 holiday cards and coloring pages to the American Red Cross for distribution to area service members and veterans.
Royer’s collected the cards and coloring pages from the public in each of its stores from Oct. 16 through Nov. 14, continuing a decade-long affiliation with the Red Cross “Holidays for Heroes” program.
Royer’s Flowers & Gifts will give away red, white and blue bouquets to military veterans on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
The bouquets – featuring a red carnation, a white carnation and a blue bow – will be available in-store only at each of Royer’s 16 locations in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.
“This is one of our favorite events each year,” said Tom Royer, president and CEO of family-owned Royer’s. “It is our honor and privilege to recognize the men and women who give so much to protect our freedom.”
Non-veterans may purchase the bouquets for $2.20 each.
Children of an earlier time did the monster mash. The Royer’s Flowers & Gifts Kids Club has an updated take on Halloween: spooky succulents.
The kids club is celebrating the season with its first virtual event, offering free take-home kits that will allow children ages 5 to 12 to decorate a Halloween tin with a succulent plant.
Kits include a tin decorated with a jack-o-lantern, mummy or Dracula; two-inch succulent; cellophane for lining the tin; instruction sheet with QR code linking to a video with assembly and plant-care tips; and a Halloween coloring sheet.
Kits must be reserved at royers.com/kidsclub while supplies last, limit three per family. In-store pickup of the kits will be available Oct. 19-24.
Royer’s is encouraging moms and dads to send photos of their child’s completed project to firstname.lastname@example.org for sharing on social media.
If hot summer weather doesn’t make you yearn for fall, then Royer’s Flowers & Gifts’ annual name-the-arrangement contest surely will.
The new all-around arrangement features an autumnal color palette: lavender glass vase, orange rose and orange carnations, purple statice, red alstroemeria, sunflower. It measures 14 inches high and 11 inches wide.
The arrangement has a product number, but Royer’s is asking for help with a name.
One winner and one runner-up will be selected from entries received by Royer’s and its sister company in Columbus, Ohio. Both the winner and runner-up will receive the arrangement (retail value $34.99) as their prize.
The arrangement will debut this fall and will be available in all stores and as part of Royer’s direct-ship program serving the Lower 48 states.
To view the arrangement and enter the contest, visit royers.com/contest. Limit one entry daily per email address, through Aug. 5.
The Royer’s Flowers & Gifts Kids Club is looking for its next birthday card design.
Children ages 5 to 12 are eligible to participate in the kids club’s annual design contest. The winner will receive a free bouquet delivery on his or her birthday.
The card is emailed to kids club members on their birthdays.
Entries must be dropped off by July 15 at any one of Royer’s 16 stores in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties, including one Stephenson’s Flowers & Gifts location in Harrisburg.
Maggie Liriano was initially inspired by the robots she saw on television shows.
“I was like, that’s so cool, I want one of my own,” the fourth-grader at Mifflin Park Elementary School in Berks County said. “So I made one of cardboard when I was little, and I would dress like a robot. I’ve always asked my mom, can we get an actual robot?
“She said, ‘When you grow up, maybe you can make your own.’ “
Liriano may not have to wait that long. She got hands-on experience with a robot this year as one of the 23 third- and fourth-grade girls who participated in the school’s new Girls Who Code club.
Royer’s Flowers & Gifts, which has three Berks County stores, donated $1,050 to help the club purchase six robots and a floor mat used in competitions.
At Mifflin Park in Shillington, the Girls Who Code club developed under Mark Engle, the school’s innovation and gifted teacher.
His science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, room is alive with curious children, two chirping parakeets, a turtle, rabbit, hedgehog and fish.
It’s a beehive of activity, literally, although the one in the room is only for observation. There’s another one on the school’s “green” roof from which Engle harvests honey.
The innovation curriculum covers engineering, coding and robotics, and the scientific process and environmental standards.
Girl empowerment and coding
Kayla Morris, another fourth-grader and the daughter of an engineer, enjoyed coding in Engle’s class. She signed up for Girls Who Code as a “cool after-school thing,” she said.
Although Engle had similarly modest expectations for the club, they were exceeded quickly.
“I figured kids are going to come for a couple hours, we’re going to have some fun, and then it will be over,” he said. The reality was that the club, which met from October through Valentine’s Day, held twice as many sessions as initially scheduled, and some of the girls worked on projects on their own.
Girls Who Code has its own curriculum that promotes girl empowerment and coding. Engle said he “turned it up a notch” by entering the students into a robot competition, which promoted problem solving, innovation and teamwork.
The rechargeable robots are known as Dash. Imagine four teal balls, three on the bottom that act as wheels and one on the top that serves as a head with a big eyeball. Dash is approximately six inches tall.
One of the appeals of Dash is that students can give the robot a personality, from changing the color of its blinking lights to recording sounds for it to utter to making it dance. Some students made helmets for their robots from styrofoam cups normally used for serving macaroni and cheese in the school cafeteria.
“They can make it speak Spanish,” Engle said, eliciting laughter from club members Liriano and Morris, “although Mr. Engle never understood what it was saying because I don’t speak Spanish, but the robot clearly does.”
Using a touch screen on a pad, students can string together block code to, for instance, direct the distance that Dash travels, dictate turns and the robot’s speed.
Saturn and Jupiter
The competition comprised five challenges involving simulated visits to nine planets, such as negotiating the robot around the rings of Saturn. Students had to find a way to hook a magnet to their robots to retrieve washers, which played the role of Jupiter’s icy moons.
“They realize very quickly,” Engle said, “I did this but the magnet’s too high, it’s not picking anything up. Or I’m moving too fast. And so they not only had to do the coding problem-solving, but also what they made and would it be an effective use.”
Clearly, the lessons they have learned have inspired the students. Liriano and another classmate raised their hands to present their robots at a community event. Morris went with her family to a Girls Who Code event in New York City.
And more opportunities await as they move up to Governor Mifflin Intermediate School next year.
Liriano was incredulous to learn that Engle runs a co-ed club at the intermediate school that actually does make a robot.
“You do?” she said.
“Just made your day, Mags,” Engle said with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Engle anticipates doubling the number of participants in Girls Who Code in the coming school year.