The Good Neighbor Day event has gotten larger and larger since it was first created in 1995. The number of roses given away has quadrupled since its first year. Suzanne Shepherd, the director of internal operations at Sparks Florist, described the amount of resources and time that go into putting on the event.
"It takes one semi-truck and a full-size van to transport all of the roses from the growers,” she said. “Employees go down Monday night to pick up the roses. The managers get in at 5 a.m. to make sure everything is ready."
Shepherd also described one year when she got to the store at 4:30 a.m. since a T.V. news crew was going to be there and people were already waiting outside the door.
When Sparks Florist first began putting on the event, there were a few car accidents outside of the buildings. Shepherd asked Sparks Police Chief Dotson if there was anything the department could do to ensure that nothing got out of hand during the rose giveaway. Dotson, who was a supporter of the event, volunteered the department's help, and since then officers have not only helped maintain order but have also actively participated, handing out roses instead of tickets to community members.
This event is one way the company is giving back to the community. Nevada Assemblyman Bernie Anderson and Washoe County Commissioner Bonnie Weber are on a long list of public officials who plan on attending the event. Shepherd explained how the Good Neighbor Day event brings the community together.
"We see a lot of the same faces every year. A lot of these people bring by cookies, brownies, and other homemade goods to show their appreciation for what we do," Shepherd said.
"We first started the event to bring the community together and we continue doing it because we enjoy watching how much fun everyone who participates has," Mike Fiannaca, the son of Sparks Florist president Tony Fianaaca, added.