Our History

In 2003, Howard County’s Office of Tourism & Promotion proposed a tree planting program that would beautify the county’s attractions, its parks and its roadways with Kwanzan cherry trees. The project was inspired by Washington D.C.’s annual tidal basin spectacular and designed to capitalize on the blossom-mania that descends each year in the neighboring Capital. The goal was 1,000 cherry trees in the ground at select locations in five years.

Equally important as beautification was the desire to also give back to the community in a meaningful way. The trees would be used to raise awareness of breast cancer prevention each spring and to raise money to benefit those within the community coping with cancer and facing other life-changing experiences.

The concept was taken to former Howard County Executive Jim Robey who agreed to champion the project and also provide resources from within both the Department of Recreation & Parks and The Department of Public Works to kick start the initiative on public lands. And so, Blossoms of Hope… the Howard County Cherry Tree Project began.

In 2004, a handful of individuals stepped forward to make the dream of Blossoms of Hope a reality. The group included public officials, civic-minded community businesses, and individuals who were inspired by the project and what it meant to them personally.

The Founders Grove is their legacy. Located adjacent to Route 108 in Centennial Park, it grows the 20 original and most mature of the Blossoms of Hope trees.

More than 16 years later, approximately 2,600 Blossoms of Hope trees are now blossoming across Howard County, and more than $550,000 has been contributed to the community, including to the Howard Hospital Foundation earmarked for Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center, Gilchrist Hospice Center, Ellicott City Partnership and the Greenebaum Cancer Center, among others.

Fundraising events have been added over the years to help raise funds to distribute to the community, including Power of the Purse; Pretty In Pink; Beer, Bourbon and Bags; and Pink Greens. Blossoms of Hope also responds quickly to unique community needs. In 2016, in just three weeks, Blossoms of Hope sponsored a gala raising more than $24,000 for Ellicott City flood victims. In 2020, due to of COVID-19, The Santa Project was founded with Santa and his elves visiting the homes of more than 2,300 children in Howard County and the surrounding area.

Timeline

  • April– The Scavenger Hunt was initiated to help get people out of their homes and to highlight some of the Blossom of Hope groves in the county.
  • May - Pink Greens returned with 138 golfers and a Maryland Theme.
  • June – Power of the Purse v.2 was initiated using a lottery version. 51 bundles were won and almost 1,000 tickets were sold.
  • All traditional events were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19
  • Spring - raised over $1,400 to give directly to HHF Caregivers Fund.
  • September –The Blossoms of Hope Heroes Grove at Howard County General Hospital was created with 12 Kwanzan cherry trees and three benches dedicated to the front-line workers at the hospital
  • October - in partnership with Howard Hughes and Howard EcoWorks, planted an additional 100 trees in downtown Columbia and Merriweather District.
  • October – Contribution to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $30,000 and $5,000 to Gilchrist of Howard County
  • December– The Santa Project was initiated in response to COVID-19 as a way to bring Santa and his elves to children in Howard County and the surrounding area. More than 2,300 children had Santa arrive at their homes over three weekends in December.
  • April - Cherrybration kickoff with dedication of two trees Blossoms of Hope Ex Officio Board Member Janet Robey and former Police Chief and County Executive Jim Robey.
  • May - 100 trees were planted in the Merriweather Post District with Howard Hughes
  • Spring events included Pretty in Pink Fashion Show; 11th Annual Pink Greens Golf Tournament (with a Pink Theme) and 8th Annual Power of the Purse.
  • October – Contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $30,000. Blossoms extended donations to include $5,000 to Gilchrist of Howard County and $2,000 to University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center.
  • November - 2nd annual Beer, Bourbon and Bags.
  • Second year participating in Brackets For Good making it to the Finals
  • Cherrybration Days included: Cherrybration Kick-off; CA Art Show; Twelfth Annual Pretty in Pink Fashion Show and Luncheon at Turf Valley; Tenth Annual Pink Greens Golf Tournament; Cherrybration Day at Clark's Elioak Farm; Seventh Annual Power of the Purse
  • May - 100 trees were planted in the Merriweather Post District with Howard Hughes
  • June – EC Emerges event at Turf Valley to raise money for the victims of the second flood in Old Ellicott City.
  • October – Volunteer Appreciation Happy Hour held and contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $30,000. Also donated $24,000 to Ellicott City Partnership to help the flood victims at the Volunteer Celebration. Blossoms extended donations to include $5,000 to Gilchrist of Howard County.
  • November – Inaugural Beer, Bourbon and Bags
  • Participated in state-wide competition for non-profits, Brackets For Good, a competition to raise more money than our opponent in a bracket-style tournament
  • Cherrybration Days included: Cherrybration Kick-off; CA Art Show; Eleventh Annual Pretty in Pink Fashion Show and Luncheon at Turf Valley; Ninth Annual Pink Greens Golf Tournament; Cherrybration Days at Clark's Elioak Farm and Terrapin Adventures; Sixth Annual Power of the Purse
  • October – Volunteer Appreciation Happy Hour held and contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $30,000
  • Spring Cherrybration Days included: Pink Plates Specials; CA Art Show; Tenth Annual Pretty in Pink Fashion Show and Luncheon at Turf Valley; Eighth Annual Pink Greens Golf Tournament; Cherrybration Days at Clark's Elioak Farm and Terrapin Adventures; Fifth Annual Power of the Purse
  • June – Held a Blossoms for Jobs event at AIDA Bistro and Wine Bar to connect employers and employees impacted by the Ellicott City Flood.
  • October – Volunteer Appreciation Happy Hour held and contributions made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $28,000 and to Ellicott City Partnership of $8,000
  • Spring Cherrybration Days included: Pink Plates Specials; Gallery Art Show; Ninth Annual Pretty in Pink Fashion Show at Turf Valley; Seventh Annual Pink Greens Golf Classic, Celebrations at Clark's Elioak and Terrapin Adventures; Fourth Annual Power of the Purse
  • October – Contribution to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $27,500
  • Blossoms of Hope celebrates its 10th anniversary.
  • April Cherrybration days. Pink Plates challenge, Pretty in Pink Fashion Show, Pink Greens Golf Classic, Terrapin Adventures, Clark's Elioak Farm, Art Gallery Show.
  • June - Third Annual Power of the Purse
  • October - contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $ 25,940
  • April -
    • The three Yoshino Cherry trees were planted at Lake Kittamaqundi in Columbia.
    • An additional 100 trees were planted at attractions in Howard County.
    • Cherrybration Days held. Pink Plates, Pretty in Pink Fashion Show, Pink Greens Golf Classic, Art Gallery Show, Terrapin Adventures, Clark's Elioak Farm
  • June – Second annual Power of the Purse
  • October – contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $45,000
  • The National Cherry Blossoms Festival gifted three Yoshino Cherry tree saplings to Howard County to commemorate the centennial of the original Gift of Trees to Washington D.C. from Tokyo. The saplings were grown from the original tree stock now growing at the Tidal Basin in the Nation’s Capital.
  • Cherrybration Days included:
    • Sixth Annual Pretty in Pink held at Turf Valley
    • Fourth Annual Pink Greens Golf Classic at Turf Valley
    • Third Cherrybration held at Clark's Elioak Farm
    • Third Annual Gallery Show
    • Third Milltown 5K Challenge
  • October – contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $35,000.
  • The National Cherry Blossoms Festival gifted three Yoshino Cherry tree saplings to Howard County to commemorate the centennial of the original Gift of Trees to Washington D.C. from Tokyo. The saplings were grown from the original tree stock now growing at the Tidal Basin in the Nation’s Capital.
  • Cherrybration Days included:
    • Sixth Annual Pretty in Pink held at Turf Valley
    • Fourth Annual Pink Greens Golf Classic at Turf Valley
    • Third Cherrybration held at Clark's Elioak Farm
    • Third Annual Gallery Show
    • Third Milltown 5K Challenge
  • October – contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $35,000.
  • April –
    • Pink Plate Specials available at area restaurants
    • Third Annual Pretty in Pink Luncheon & Fashion Show held at Turf Valley
    • Princess Cherrybella debut
    • Turf Valley presents second Pink Greens Golf Classic
    • Pink Panes on Main Street in Ellicott City expands to Ellicott City  
    • Thinks Pink, Hills of Milltown 5K Challenge and Cherrybration Celebration Weekend
    • An Enchanted Cherrybration is held at Clark’s Elioak Farms
    • Columbia Art Center holds Cupcakes for Claudia gallery show
    • Second running of Blossoms of Hope Half Marathon
    • Fourth annual Lanterns of Hope Parade held at Meadowbrook Park in Ellicott City
  • October – sixth contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $32,020
  • April – April officially proclaimed Cherrybration Days in Howard County
    • Pink Plate Specials available at area restaurants
    • Second Pretty in Pink Luncheon & Fashion Show held at Turf Valley
    • Turf Valley presents first Pink Greens Golf Classic
    • Inaugural running of Blossoms of Hope Half Marathon
    • Pink Panes premiere on Main Street in Ellicott City
    • Third Lanterns of Hope Parade held at Lake Kittamaqundi
  • October – Fifth contribution to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $15,232
  • April –
    • Pink Plate Specials premiere on menus at area restaurants
    • First Pretty in Pink Luncheon & Fashion Show held at Turf Valley
    • Second Cherrybration/Lanterns of Hope Parade held at Centennial Park
  • October – Fourth contribution to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $14,028
  • February – Executive Director hired
  • April – Inaugural Cherrybration Festival held at Centennial Park
  • July – Third contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $22,275
  • April –
    • Blossoms of Hope participates in Washington D.C.’s National Cherry Blossoms Parade
    • Second Centennial Park Grove dedicated
    • Residential tree sales begin
  • September –
    • Goal of 1,000 planted trees reached
    • Plans for an annual spring festival (Cherrybration) announced
  • October – Second contribution to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of approx. $17,000
  • January – Howard County Tourism & Promotion Executive Board agrees to create separate non-profit
  • April –
    • Blossoms of Hope Incorporates
    • Founder’s Grove Dedication
    • Phase one public land groves planted
    • First contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $10,000
  • June – Separate non-profit established
  • September – Corporate planting program kicks off: Turf Valley, Crab Shanty & Merriweather participate
  • January – Howard County Tourism & Promotion Executive Board agrees to create separate non-profit
  • April –
    • Blossoms of Hope Incorporates
    • Founder’s Grove Dedication
    • Phase one public land groves planted
    • First contribution made to Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Resource Center of $10,000
  • June – Separate non-profit established
  • September – Corporate planting program kicks off: Turf Valley, Crab Shanty & Merriweather participate