As a part of Chrissie D’Esposo’s daily routine, she spends about 15 hours a day tending to her garden in Avon.
She’s known by locals as the flower house lady, and you can’t help but be drawn in from the road by the incredible grounds creeping up a hill layered with color and texture. Not to mention, the signs.
But unfortunately, she said, “We have had our signs destroyed, daily insults and swears slung at us.”
Despite welcoming onlookers to her grounds for over 25 years, she’s become the target of threats and vandalism. Police said they’ve received several complaints over the years.
But instead of removing her signs that promote love and solidarity, she repaints them after they’re destroyed and keeps them up.
“They were being destroyed, I was very angry about that and then I heard about the Friends for Equity of Avon,” D’Esopo said.
She met Jamie Polhamus with Avon Friends for Equity. They’ve teamed up for a public tour to raise money for a mission they both believe in—advocating for an inclusive school culture that welcomes diversity and values racial equity.
“It’s unique there’s no other place like it,” Polhamus said.
“The sense of being open and welcoming and beautiful and coming together that is perfectly aligned with our mission,” Polhamus said.
On the tour, D’Esposo will take you through her home and around her three acres of luscious estate.
In the past, she’s welcomed about 2,000 people onto her grounds and has raised thousands for local charities, but she doesn’t want you to mistake her kindness for weakness.
She said she just prefers to battle hate with love.
“We love everyone, we invite everyone into our world,” she added.
The tour will be on Sunday, July 24 from 1 to 5 p.m. at 289 West Avon Rd. The cost of the tour is $10 per ticket and 100% of the donations go to Friends of Equity for Avon Schools.
If you cannot make the tour but would like to donate, you can head here are click the donate button.
This content was originally published here.