Sunflowers of Sanborn: Selfies, Hope, and Life After Loss

Sanborn, N.Y. (WKBW) - One year ago, Louise Brachmann had no idea what she’d be getting herself into. She just knew she had to get out of Sanborn.

“I had just lost my mom 5 years ago, and last year I had just lost my father.”

She and her husband decided to go on a vacation…that’s where it all began.

“We picked up a magazine,” said Brachmann.

“We were looking at all these sunflowers I said ‘Chad, this is so cheery.’ Just looking at these beautiful fields. I said, ‘we gotta plant some of these.’”

So, for his wife, Chad did.

Hundreds of them.

Back at the farm her parents left to her all of a sudden bloomed the “sunflowers of Sanborn” field.

“For the amount of people we had here unannounced, we were not prepared for them.”

Last Labor Day, Brachmann says at least 2,000 people came out to the fields. It was overwhelming.

But, one thing that’s unique about this tourist destination is that everything from parking to parading the fields is free.

“That was important to me.”

Brachmann says she wanted something that would help others the way the flowers helped her.

“It’s about talking to people, hearing their stories, their journeys and trials in life.”

She says the flowers are great for selfies, but bring people a lot of peace, as well.

This year, in order to keep that experience free for everyone the Brachmann’s decided to add some sponsorships with Niagara Lawn and Garden Equipment and Hahn’s Ponds.

There will also be food for sale.

You will still be able to park for free, but this year you can purchase tickets for food being sold.

The cost is $1 per ticket.

Beverly Jasinski will also be on site with the Breast Cancer Network of WNY.

An organization that helped her after her diagnosis.

“I was first diagnosed 7 months after my husband passed away, said Jasinski.”

She originally was in grief counseling to deal with the loss of her husband.

“I realized, you know what? I need some help with this.”

The network gave her the tools and support to deal with her diagnosis and work through her grief to get healthy again.

That’s the reason she plans to help with the fundraiser happening during the opening weeks at the field.

People will be able to purchase a stone with the name of a loved one they want to remember to put under a “tree of hope”.

Owners hope to continue to grow philanthropic efforts at the field and expect the flower viewing to last at least 4 weeks.

Tentative plans are in the works to open a Halloween-type experience come October at the farm, but Brachmann says she’ll see whether that will materialize this year or next.

 

 

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