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A Tribute to Our Biggest Cheerleader

Everyone loves watching a good cheerleader. Energy, enthusiasm, and team spirit drips off their sleeves. A cheerleader can make even the most trying game seem like it's neck-and-neck, not only to the fans, but to the players too. Simply put, cheerleaders just make the game better.

Last month, our biggest cheerleader for Simply Sunflower passed away. This woman was full of spunk, personality, and although she may not have always had pom-poms in her hands, she was always cheering on my dad! She encouraged him to dream big when he first thought about growing sunflowers and of course she was the woman who received our very first bottle of oil from the new production plant.

In a family business, everything seems to land at home field. That's right where the most authentic and loyal cheerleaders are born. We chose to dedicate this month's blog post as a tribute to our biggest cheerleader, my Grandma Elinor Rae Koelling.

Elinor is where Al got his entrepreneurial spirit and daredevil guts. She had enough strength to carry on the family farm when Grandpa Orel served in Korea, yet still balanced the grace and tenderness to raise 4 children, many grandchildren, and over 20 great-grandchildren. You better believe that she cheered on the whole family whether it was labeling Simply Sunflower bottles, driving out-of-state to watch a dance recital, or teaching her great-granddaughter to paint china plates. She jazzed up long practices with an endless supply of ice cream and had a way of turning the worst losses into big wins through the learning experiences gained. She was a cheerleader through-and-through.

Although we can't see Elinor in the stands anymore, we know she and grandpa are still cheering us on from their golden box seats. Grandma wanted to live to see Simply Sunflower Oil "really take off!" So we are pressing on in the game in hopes to hit a home run she can see from above!

Thanks for letting us celebrate our team this month!


The Simply Sunflower Team

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