Mission Corps tiptoes through the tulips

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San Francisco Mission girls visit studio of famed floral designer Jun Pinon.

by Ann Lowney –

Floral designer Jun Pinon and girls from the San Francisco Mission Corps.

On a sunny and blustery recent Friday morning eight excited young girls from the San Francisco Mission Corps Community Center hopped into a mini-van and were whisked away to a mystery location by Major Carole Abella of South San Francisco Citadel. Their bubbles of laughter were from the expectation of what adventure lay in store for them.

The girls were driven through the streets of San Francisco to one of the city’s more forgotten neighborhoods, that holds a hidden gem—the studio of renowned San Francisco, floral designer, Jun Piñon. Since 2005, Piñon has selflessly donated his talented services to San Francisco’s annual Flower Power luncheon, a fundraising event benefiting the Tools for School Program. Monies raised will go toward buying school supplies and necessities that are given to children at San Francisco’s Back 2 School distribution in early August. This year’s event took place recently at the Omni San Francisco Hotel.

Each year prior to the luncheon Piñon likes to share his passion of floral design with the children who will benefit from the event by teaching them about flowers and giving them a hands-on lesson in floral display in his studio.

On this bright Friday afternoon as the girls spilled through Piñon’s studio, their eyes were transfixed on the bold splashes of color and heady sweet smells from the flowers. They listened intently as he explained about each flower that they would be using. After each lesson the girls and Major Abella set about creating their own displays with much laughter, as photos where taken of them working away. The girls completed several displays that were to be used for a wedding; they were thrilled at being given that honor. Each creation they constructed was a hypnotic cocktail of color. The flower that mesmerized the girls the most was the Ecuadorian rose with its sweet scent and folds of fleshy hues.

Everyone involved had a wonderful day. They looked forward to the creations and images from the day that were on view at the Flower Power luncheon.

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