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by Mark Cheffey
Palmyra FFA’s first ever national championship contest team is now hoping to add to its once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
The floriculture team of Ji Yung Ni, Evan Nierman, Tim Wellman and Augustine Mahsman, along with their coach, Amanda Haeberlin, have been invited to continue their horticulture education through a special trip to the Netherlands next year.
While there, the group will attend a European floral exposition that only happens every 10 years.
“This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Haeberlin, who said the team would also get to tour the largest floral market in the world, visit with European growers, exporters and designers as well as experience a UNESCO World Heritage site, historical significant landmarks and gardens considered some of the oldest in Europe.
“Even if we were to later travel to the Netherlands, some of these tours and activities would not be available to us,” Haeberlin said. “The Floridae Expo that is taking place only happens every 10 years, so we are very fortunate to be able to have that as an option.”
In order to make the trip in May of 2022, the team will have to raise a considerable amount of money for it.
Each team member and the sponsor will have to raise approximately $5,000 each, for a total of $25,000.
As a result they are asking the public to help out through monetary donations or fund-raisers to help make the trip possible.
“It is a daunting amount of money, but we are hopeful that through community support and other fundraising activities we will be able to get most of it raised,” Haeberlin said. “We intend to go regardless, but the less out of pocket cost we can have the better.”
Haerlin said the team is planning to host a trivia night fund-raiser with a time and details still to be worked out. Some FFA/Panther item sales will also occur in the spring with the hope of making their final pre-trip payment in March.