Consul General Gerbert Kunst and Michael Phillips, CEO of Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco, hand out 5000+ lilies to healthcare workers at the hospital on Tuesday. Photo: Heidi Alletzhauser Photography.


The Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco in collaboration with NorCal-based StarGazer Barn, original creators of the popular and highly fragrant StarGazer Lily, and Sun Valley Floral Farms, one of the largest suppliers of American-grown flowers with more than 60 million cut flower stems annually, hand delivered 5000+ stems of lilies on Tuesday to all essential workers at Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco from an appropriate social distance as they arrived and departed from their shifts.

As one of the largest skilled nursing facilities in the country, Laguna Honda is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Thankfully, Laguna Honda’s response to limit the spread of the virus has been effective due to dedicated work from all hospital staff.

“Laguna Honda Hospital staff continue to do remarkable work to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents and the entire LHH community safe and healthy. We are grateful to partner with the Netherlands, Sun Valley Floral Farms and StarGazer Barn to provide beautiful lilies for all of our staff as a show of appreciation for their work – work they do day in and day out with compassion, skill, dedication, and resilience,” said Michael Phillips, CEO of Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center. “Everyone loves flowers. Whenever we receive flowers, it always makes us feel special. Flowers are a wonderful way of saying thank you, and are a source of joy and beauty. We are truly happy to receive this great gift to share with our employees and to thank them for the great work that they do every day.”

The gift of 5000+ stems of lilies is a way for Sun Valley Floral Farms, StarGazer Barn and the Consulate General and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to thank healthcare heroes in the Bay Area for their continuous efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

“The Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco wants to thank all the healthcare workers in the Bay Area for their continuous efforts in the fight against COVID-19. These lilies represent the friendship between the Netherlands and San Francisco, and will hopefully bring a smile and joy to the heroes that work day and night to keep us safe and healthy,” said Gerbert Kunst, Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco. “The pandemic is challenging for all of us and demands our solidarity and support for those who are on the frontline. Knowing how dedicated and professional the health care workers are here in the Bay Area and in the Netherlands, definitely makes me proud and thankful. Together with other Dutch nationals in the Bay Area, I’d like to say to all the healthcare heroes: thank you and enjoy the flowers.”

Flowers at the Laguna Honda Hospital

The California flower market has also undergone a difficult few months, but has slowly started to show signs of rebounding since Mother’s Day. Sun Valley Floral Farms supplies flowers to StarGazer Barn for consumer e-commerce sales, with both companies headquartered in Arcata, California. Sun Valley Floral Farms produces more than 60M cut flower stems annually on 300 acres in Northern California, and operates 2.5 million square feet of greenhouse space, 87K square feet of cooler space and 80K square feet of warehouse space. In 2017, Sun Valley became the first flower farm in the United States to become Rainforest Alliance Certified Sustainable, reinforcing Sun Valley’s commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.

“Together with the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco and StarGazer Barn, we are honored to have the opportunity to celebrate these healthcare workers who put their life on the line each day,” said Lane DeVries, CEO, Sun Valley Group. “Our goal in sharing our flowers is to bring a bit of cheer and hope during these difficult times, and to remind these incredible people that the future is still colorful and bright.”

The donation was made possible with the help of Sun Valley Floral Farms, Mercury Global Partners, Heidi Alletzhauser Photography and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in San Francisco.