The Maine Cancer Foundation announced the start of its sixth annual Pink Tulip Project fundraiser. Fall is bulb planting season and 30,000 pink tulip bulbs have been reserved. Deer-resistant pink daffodil bulbs are also available. Bulbs planted in October will bloom next May. Bulbs may be ordered at pinktulipproject.org or by calling the Maine Cancer Foundation at 773-2533.

Founded in 2006 by breast cancer survivor Robin Whitten, the Pink Tulip Project raises money and awareness by planting gardens of pale pink tulips across the state of Maine. The project has raised over $210,000 since its inception, 100 percent of which has been donated to the Women’s Cancer Fund at Maine Cancer Foundation. Gardens are established to raise funds, create awareness and support those who have been affected by cancer. Communities enjoy the benefit of these pink gardens for several weeks each spring. What began as one Portland garden has increased to almost 100 gardens and tens of thousands of pink tulips sprouting up and down the shores of Maine, New York, Minnesota and several other states.

One community reaping the benefits of planting these gardens is Houlton. It all began when resident Kim Folsom, a breast cancer survivor, joined the Bridge to Hope walk to benefit cancer research. The following year she teamed up with walk founder Cathy Kennedy and the two decided that they would not only organize a walk, but also plant pink tulip gardens to raise cancer awareness. The first year they used some of the money raised by the walk to purchase 500 bulbs to plant a ribbon-shaped garden at the Houlton downtown pedestrian footbridge. Each year since then they have continued to purchase more bulbs to plant other community gardens at the library, the post office and some Aroostook County schools. The rest of the money they raise from the walk supports other community cancer-related projects.

Since 1976, the Maine Cancer Foundation has supported cancer research, education and patient support programs throughout Maine. Dedicated to advancing the path to a cancer-free future, all funds remain in Maine. For more information, visit mainecancer.org or call 773-2533, or toll free in Maine 866-627-2411.