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Every Rose Has Its Thorn — Except WBUR’s

University’s NPR station sells $948K in flowers for Valentine fundraiser


The economy may be moribund, but romance appears to be alive and well. WBUR and Winston Flowers paired up in the last week for a Valentine’s Day fundraiser to benefit BU’s National Public Radio station — and sold nearly $1 million in roses.

For a gift of $150, a donor’s valentine received a dozen long-stemmed roses; a $250 donation came with two dozen long-stemmed roses and chocolates as well. The campaign started February 8 and ended February 13.

“It far exceeded our expectations,” says Paul La Camera (COM’66), WBUR’s general manager. “Last year we sold about 4,200 units, totaling $717,000. As we went into this year, we were of course concerned about the economy. We set a goal of really hoping to match last year’s numbers. In the end, we literally blew by them. We sold 6,000 units, totaling $948,000.”

Of the money raised from the fundraiser, a percentage goes to the station, and a percentage to Winston’s, for the flowers and delivery.

Flowers are big business on Valentine’s Day, the number-one occasion for florists annually. An estimated 214 million roses were produced for Valentine’s Day in 2007, according to the Society of American Florists.

La Camera says the station will repeat the fundraiser on Mother’s Day and next Valentine’s Day. “It’s an absolutely extraordinary achievement for the station and a wonderful testament to our listeners,” he says. “First of all, it’s a great partnership between two great Boston brands, WBUR public radio and Winston Flowers. Secondly, listeners love it because it gives them an opportunity to support the station, and it’s also a convenient way for them to fulfill their Valentine’s obligations.”

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.


5 Comments on Every Rose Has Its Thorn — Except WBUR’s

  • Anonymous on 02.15.2008 at 11:12 am


    I can guarantee you listeners do not love it.

  • Anonymous on 02.15.2008 at 3:00 pm

    who in their right mind would pay $150 for roses? especially if they’re students and i don’t think adults in the greater boston area can listen to wbur on the radio if i can’t even listen to it living a block away

  • Anonymous on 02.15.2008 at 8:48 pm

    I did it and it was great!

  • Anonymous on 02.19.2008 at 10:19 am


    Perhaps there is one listener who can guarantee that they do not love it. But 6,000 flower orders counts for something! I live in Allston, and I can hear the station just fine. I appreciate the radio because it is still carrying stories that I care about, and still has integrity in putting them together – and I understand that in order to do that, they sometimes have to ask for money.

    Sometimes the signal might be blocked nearby the tower if there is a building in the way, or you are not in the path of it for some other reason. This is actually more likely to happen closer to the source of the signal.

    Read up on radio technology(!), before jumping to conclusions about others and casting doubt on an institution that no doubt would want to serve you if it could.

  • Isabel Rodriguez on 02.16.2015 at 5:57 pm

    My husband gave me a dozen roses for Valentines Day from NPR/Winston Flowers. I was so disappointed that he gave me 1 dozen rose stems that came in a box, no arrangement and not even a vase. When he told me he paid $150 for it I could not believe it. This was our first Valentine’s day as a married couple and these flowers ruined my day. We do support the station and donate, but when you make such a big deal of these flowers and you pay $150 you expect a little more than just a dozen of roses in a box.

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