Jack Leso presents a rose to Carolyn Parr Saturday at the Pierce House in Farmington. Leso and other local children will deliver roses to Moms in area resident homes May 10 as part of the annual rose sale sponsored by the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area. (Ann Bryant)

FARMINGTON — Local youngsters presented roses to residents – those who are mothers – at the Pierce House on Saturday, April 6. It was a foretaste of a new venture aiming to teach them the pleasure of giving back.

As part of the annual Mother’s Day rose sale held by the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area (UWTVA), roses will be presented to mothers in local nursing homes on May 10,  according to Morgan Leso, special events committee lead for the project.

Saturday was the kick-off for a fundraising campaign, one with a goal of purchasing 50 or more extra dozens of roses during the sale. Once the roses arrive on May 10, small groups of children will visit the local resident homes and present some roses to mothers, a half-dozen more or less, depending on the amount of funds raised before the order deadline on April 29, Leso said.

At the Pierce House in Farmington, residents who are moms received roses from local children participating in a fundraiser kick-off to help deliver roses to moms in local nursing homes on May 10, as part of the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area’s annual rose sale. Children present Saturday surround residents pictured (seated) from left: Carolyn Parr, Gerry Edgar, Carolyn Lake, Jan Stevens, Nancy Barnes, Nikki Adams, Marie Lucarelli and Dot Wing. (Ann Bryant)

Proceeds from the sale of roses helps the UWTVA help local people through services offered by a variety of people-serving agencies in the community, according to Nichole Ernest, community resource coordinator for UWTVA.

This is the third year that the sale has been held. The 100 dozen purchased during the first year doubled to 205 dozen last year and there are hopes of expanding the number this year, Ernest said.

As Leso, a school counselor at the Mallett School in Farmington, greeted each child as they arrived at the Pierce House Saturday, she said the goal is to start helping youth learn to give back.

“We want to encourage youth to get involved and volunteer in the community and to learn how good that feels and to show love and appreciation to our moms,” she said.

The children, representing different ages, responded to a Facebook page seeking those interested in participating in a fundraiser and to volunteer to deliver roses to moms, especially ones who may not have regular visitors, she said.

Some participants were not able to attend Saturday, but more are expected to come for the May 10 rose presentations.

The sale involves several volunteers, as UPS donates their time to deliver the roses to the local agency, and people with special needs work on May 10 to prepare the orders, Kendra Baker, staff liaison for the project and finance and UWTVA operations coordinator, said.

The goal of purchasing 50 dozen amounts to raising $1,000 by the April 29 order deadline. People can purchase roses for their loved ones and/or roses for the program by calling the UWTVA at 778-5048, visiting the website at uwtva.org, or learning more on Facebook at facebook.com/uwtva.