Orland Park man's flowers spread joy to thousands

ORLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Orland Park's Market in the Park features a classic scene: picnic tents, produce and pastries.

But as visitors strolled through this farmer's market Thursday, they found something more when they met Rich Carriel and his flower stand.

"I'm up to here in these flowers, have a couple hundred of them," said Carriel of his Resurrection Lilies.

The 88-year-old decided these pink flowers were too beautiful for just one person to enjoy, so he's been handing them out "at the library, the post office."

And then last week, he brought them to this afternoon market next to the 143rd Street Metra station in Orland Park.

Carriel handed the lilies out free of charge. Visitors could take as many as three if they promised to gift one to someone else.

"So they get that feeling of giving away and sharing too," Carriel explained.

Carriel said at last week's farmers market he only had a handful of visitors at his flower stand. But thanks to social media, his inspirational message has reached thousands.

"So what because I gave some flowers away," Carriel remarked with a chuckle.

He returned to this week's Market in the Park and handed out more flowers Thursday.

"He made us smile which is I'm sure what he was trying to do," said David Wartenberg, who visited Carriel's stand with his wife.

Carriel says his flowers are done growing, but his message is in full bloom.
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