A Tree Grows in Texas

Ana Mantica, Content Editor
(Friday, March 11, 2011)
San Antonio, Texas The tree is a common symbol of life, strength and endurance. So, it only seemed natural for one of Vera Bradley’s Texas stores to “adopt” a tree to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

Last fall, Vera Bradley at The Shops at
La Cantera in San Antonio
held a raffle for the chance to win the Hope Grows Tree, with money raised going to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Earlier this month, the tree, a Texas Red Oak donated by LaField Lawn & Landscape, finally found its home at the START Center for Cancer Care where it will serve as a symbol of hope and life for the community, adding a touch of beauty to its surroundings.

True to form, the soon-to-be large, stately tree’s roots have already deeply planted themselves, spreading far and wide.

The winner of the tree, Kim Besse, from San Antonio, entered the raffle in honor of her father, a cancer survivor, and her aunt, whom Besse lost to cancer. Besse is also a nurse nearby Methodist Hospital where she cares for many cancer patients. “I knew that if I won the tree, I was going to give the tree to someone,” says Besse. “I saw a story about the START Center for Cancer Care on the news and decided right then to donate the tree to the center.”

What Besse didn’t know was that LaField Lawn donates a portion of its sales to the center’s cancer foundation, Thrive Well, says Terrie LaField, owner of LaField Lawn. “I became involved with the center because that is where my own dad and aunt’s oncologist is a part of the team that helped found it after my dad and aunt passed away in 2007,” notes LaField. Coming full circle, it turns out that Besse also knows the oncologist and cares for many of his patients.

“I chose the Texas Red Oak because my dad and I are from Canada where all the trees are colorful,” says Besse. “While this tree is bare now, it will soon be green, then red, orange yellow and purple,” adds LaField.

Now, Besse can enjoy the tree on her way to work every day and plans to bring her dad to visit “his” tree.