February is here, love is in the air, and the local 65 Roses club from Highland Park High School is gearing up for their annual rose drive. Students attending the high school can purchase roses with notes to be delivered to their friends during class on Valentine’s Day, all proceeds directly benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We chatted with club president Camille Summers, who told us more about this beloved tradition for a good cause.
What is the purpose of the club?
The purpose of 65 Roses is to raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis. The backstory is that there was a cystic fibrosis patient who couldn’t pronounce it correctly—he’d say “65 roses” instead.
How does 65 Roses spread love to children with cystic fibrosis?
We organize a stocking drive and a rose drive to raise money for Children’s Health Hospital and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We hope it makes [patients] feel loved, knowing they have people they don’t even know wanting to help them out, working to help their cause.
How have you seen the rose drive impact students at Highland Park High School?
The roses get everyone in a Valentine’s, love-y mood. It’s people coming together to help cystic fibrosis while showing love to their friends, getting involved, and having fun. Some even send them to teachers to show their appreciation, which I think is really cute.
65 Roses is staffed by junior class girls who pass their positions down to rising juniors each year. In December, during the stocking drive, the club raised $16,800 in gift cards that were donated to patients battling cystic fibrosis. On average, the stocking drive raises between $8,000 and $12,000, and the rose drive raises between $2,000 and $3,000. More than 800 roses are sold and sent to students each year.