Palmetto man helps sow Easter cheer at Riviera Palms Rehab

kmoschella@bradenton.comApril 21, 2014 

PALMETTO -- D. Bernard Woodie is a man on a mission. Feeling the spirit, Woodie spent Easter Sunday morning doing a random act of kindness.

He arrived at the Riviera Palms Rehabilitation Center in Palmetto with 103 vases filled with fresh spring flowers to give to all patients.

The 46-year-old Palmetto native, a supervisor for the Coca-Cola company in Lakeland, said he thought of residents who might be spending Easter alone without their families, and was moved to do something.

"I didn't want to do it because I was feeling sorry for them. I wanted to do it because I can, and because I made the time to put it together," he said.

Woodie has initiated acts of kindness before. Last December he helped put together a holiday celebration for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

This time, he received help from kindred spirits,

including Bill King, owner of King's Wholesale Flowers in Bradenton, and Lee Hardy, the "Easter Lady," who just gave away 500 Easter baskets to needy families and several area foster children.

King says he recalled how lonely his mother-in-law was living in a nursing home, which inspired him to donate the flowers.

Lee Hardy spent Saturday evening and well into the wee hours of Sunday morning, filling flower vases donated by Palmetto's Lincoln Middle School registrar, Gwen Holmes.

"I got it in my heart and I guess I'm just blessed because I enjoy it so much. It doesn't bother me to do this," said Hardy, who accompanied Woodie to Riviera Palms on Easter.

Woodie added: "Tomorrow is not promised. We tend to forget these people, but they have lived lives, too, and I just wanted to reach out."

Kathryn Moschella, Bradenton reporter, can be reached at 941-741-7010. Follow her on Twitter @MoschellaHerald.

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