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Posted on: May 1, 2012

Plant sale benefits juvenile offender program

Tuesday May 01 2012 2:33 PM

With spring in full bloom, flowers and plants grown by juvenile offenders will be on sale every Friday and Saturday at Remann Hall.

The annual plant sale - featuring annuals, perennials, hanging baskets and veggie starts - benefits the YMCA Friends and Servants program, which has offered work experience to juvenile offenders for more than 20 years.

Sales started on Friday, April 27, and will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays until July 21. Remann Hall is located at 5501 6th Ave., Tacoma.

The Friends and Servants program provides teens with a way to fulfill court requirements while giving them positive work experience. Projects include:

• Lawn care and landscaping services.
• Greenhouse operation and maintenance.• Community service projects.
• Maintenance and operations of Puyallup berry and plant farm.

Teens learn about basic horticulture, beginning plant care, fundamental marketing techniques and customer service.

"Many of our kids find more than just growing and planting flowers," said Shelly Maluo, administrator of Pierce County Juvenile Court. "They find a safe place to hang out, they connect with caring adults, and they see the fruits of their labor displayed all over town. They feel proud that they contributed to their community."

Plants and vegetables from the Friends and Servants program are also sold to local farmers markets and donated to local food banks and planted at various sites throughout Pierce County.

"All proceeds go back to the program to help teens pay off their fines," said Robert Resseau, Friends and Servants program director. "Staff and volunteers focus on building relationships and working with youth to introduce values and skills that prepare them to succeed in the workplace and avoid reoffending."

MEDIA CONTACTS:Robert Resseau, Friends and Servants program director
(253) 460-8806rresseau@ymcapkc.org

Shelly Maluo, Juvenile Court administrator
(253) 798-7949smaluo@co.pierce.wa.us

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