Garden Club honors longtime member

DAMASCUS-The Damascus Garden Club, a member of the Garden Club of Ohio Inc., met March 14 in the cafe area of the Damascus Friends Church. The club continued with its special celebration of its 60th anniversary year by giving a special tribute to member Betty Bircher, who has been a member of the club since 1956. Throughout her long membership Bircher has served in many ways including holding the office of president. Marilyn Wingett opened the meeting by reading a poem composed to honor Bircher. Accompanying Bircher to the meeting was her daughter and special guest, Marty Sleask. The 14 members present shared their memories of Bircher’s service to the club and presented her with an honorary membership certificate and a bouquet of yellow roses, the club’s floral symbol.

Committee reports were next and the Audit Committee declared the 2012 audit complete and thanked Hilda Spack, treasurer, for keeping the books in good order. Peggy Stoffer of the Conservation Committee said the winter clean-up of the post office garden will get under way as soon as the weather cooperates. She will call committee members about dates and times. Wingett, Community Care chair, thanked the members who volunteered at the Auburn Skilled Nursing Center in February. She reported that the same floral arranging project was held March 19 at the center. June Wallace provided the bud vases for the American Red Cross/Ruritan blood drive on March 19.

Under old business vegetable and flower seeds were turned in for the Seeds for Rwanda project and members filled a basket full of bagged candy to donate to the community park’s Easter egg hunt. Sandy Kilmer volunteered to fill the vacant post of second vice president for the club. June Wallace made a motion to accept Kilmer as second vice president and Rhonda Mitchell seconded the motion which was unanimously approved. The possibility of a flower show was discussed and Kilmer moved to not have one this year but to consider one for 2014.

Under new business, Mitchell said that for the club’s May meeting the members would be touring Best Hostas on Smith-Goshen Road and lunch will be at Copeland Oaks. Wingett asked the club to consider hosting a “Grow and Show” horticultural show in September. Wingett closed the meeting with announcements about the Garden Club of Ohio Inc.’s 85th annual convention on April 16-17 at the Sheraton Suites in Cuyahoga Falls. She reminded members to bring short floral containers about 6 to 8 inches in length and floral and line material to be used in next month’s floral design project.

The program for March was about favorite garden and floral arranging tools. Members explained what special tools they kept in their tool boxes and why they were of such special use. A luncheon followed. Hostesses Knoedler, Wallace, and Ginny Huffman. The next meeting is April 11 at Kilmer’s home.