SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – It’s been a little less than two weeks since the ‘Sea of Blue Ribbon’ campaign launched in South Plainfield and, in that short period of time, Mohn’s Flowers & Fancy Foods on Plainfield Avenue has made over 800 bows out of bright blue ribbon and raised over $1,500 for the South Plainfield Police Department. Additionally, the flower shop recently ordered hundreds more to adorn the poles along all of South Plainfield’s major roads in time for the borough’s annual Labor Day Parade.

Beginning Monday at noon, the South Plainfield Fall Cheerleading Squad will help tie blue bows to the telephone poles on Plainfield Avenue and Maple Avenue and, over the weeks leading up to the parade, the bows will be placed along Hamilton Boulevard, Oak Tree Road, Park Avenue, and New Market Avenue as well as in the center of town, including South Plainfield Avenue.

“Our goal is to have all the main roads in town lined with blue ribbons in time for Labor Day,” said Mohn’s owner Georgeann Cochrane, adding, “It would be great if every house along the parade route also had a blue bow on it or on a tree.”

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The ‘Sea of Blue Ribbon’ campaign encourages homeowners and businesses to display blue ribbons as a sign of support, respect and appreciation for law enforcement. On a local front, it was launched inadvertently by resident Brenda Gromek who, back on July 29, posted a photo to Facebook of her friend’s home adorned in blue ribbons to represent support for the police officers in her South Jersey town.

The post, which Gromek made on her personal page as well as in the private ‘You know you’re from SOUTH PLAINFIELD when…’ group, garnered the community’s attention and Gromek reached out to Mohn’s, explaining the campaign to Cochrane and inquiring how to obtain blue ribbons.

Supportive of the idea, Cochrane and her staff immediately got to work making the bows and on the morning of Aug. 1 when TAPinto South Plainfield’s article on the ‘Sea of Blue Ribbon’ campaign posted (https://www.tapinto.net/towns/south-plainfield/articles/south-plainfield-residents-support-for-law-enfor), Mohn’s had 400 blue bows available.

The bows are free – a donation to the South Plainfield Police Department is suggested – and over the next first two days, close to $500 was raised. Additionally, the following evening, Gromek set up a table to promote the campaign at the borough’s 3rd Annual National Night Out event, raising an additional $240 and running out of bows in just 45-minutes.

“The whole thing was a spur of the moment idea that turned into this great initiative that members of the community have been extremely supportive of,” said Gromek, adding that the timing of the campaign, coinciding with National Night Out really helped boost support. “Many people came up to the table where the ribbons were displayed and stated the reason why they came to the event was to pick up the ribbons and show support for the police department.”

Although she is impressed with the attention the campaign has received, Cochrane said she is not at all surprised by the support. “I have lived in this town all my life and we always join together. It is a wonderful little town to be a part of and a lot of that has to do with our police department. They do a wonderful job,” she said, adding, “I am so thankful to everyone for the support they have shown and hope it continues.”

Mohn’s has continued to replenish its stock of blue ribbon and make new bows over the past two weeks and will continue to do so. “Our goal is for every home in this town to be adorned in blue ribbons. We urge residents to come out and put blue ribbons on their property in support of our wonderful police department,” Cochrane said, adding that she plans to present the money collected thus far to the police department during a September Borough Council.

“Mohn’s goal is double what we’ve already received. That would be great if we could do that,” she said.

Mohn’s has blue bows available in two different sizes; a smaller one with pipe cleaners attached that can be tied around a porch pole or column and a larger one that will fit around a tree. Anyone seeking a size not currently available can place a special order. Mohn’s Flowers & Fancy Foods, located at 2325 Plainfield Avenue, is open Monday through Saturday. For more information, call (908) 561-2808.

For additional information about the ‘Sea of Blue Ribbon' campaign, visit https://www.facebook.com/Sea-Of-Blue-Ribbon-Campaign-367794776734736/.

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