Hurst florist spreads good cheer with free roses

HURST -- Kelly McCoy startled Alvette Greensides, appearing at her home holding roses.

"How sweet!" Greensides exclaimed. "They're beautiful."

McCoy beamed. She'd set out to take a dozen free roses from Bice's Florist to her mom. She broadened her sights when she was told that she should share them with as many people as possible.

"I'm going to give one to my mom, and the rest to her neighbors and my neighbors," said McCoy, a Hurst resident.

Though Wednesday was the 13th time the flower shop at 650 Bedford-Euless Road participated in the FTD Good Neighbor Day, it was McCoy's first.

Deanna Hilbert returned for the fourth year to do random acts of kindness with help from Bice's. She learned of the annual event five years ago when she was welcomed to a Hurst neighborhood with a rose. "She was 10," Hilbert said of her new neighbor. "She's our baby sitter now, and I've been doing this ever since."

Hilbert said she shares roses with elderly neighbors who often don't get out of their houses.

The rose giveaway was supposed to start at 7 a.m., said Keith Riewe, the owner of Bice's. But customers couldn't wait that long.

"One gentleman was here at 6:15 and said he was going to a hospital to see his wife and would give roses to other patients, too," Riewe said. "We gave him a dozen."

Being part of the event is expensive -- buying and packaging the roses cost Bice's at least $10,000 -- but Riewe said the shop benefits from the exposure.

He said he once considered opting out of the event.

"I don't imagine too many people are giving things away during our current economy," he said. "I thought about not doing it in 2005, and my staff talked me into it. We had such an overwhelming response that it was worth it, and this makes us feel good."

Terry Evans, 817-390-7620