Beautifying Lake County one plant at a time

Garden Club meet and greet/auction fundraiser a success

BALDWIN — Beautiful flowers are not the only thing members of the Garden Club of Lake County have been planting — the club is all about growing a stronger community.

During the first Garden Club Meet and Greet with an auction fundraiser on July 8, a large attendance of club members as well as community members gathered at the Lake County Historical Museum to enjoy an evening of food, and a chance to bid on many great items.

Proceeds from the evening benefited the Lake County Garden Club not only in its effort to beautify Lake County, but also in its endeavor to support other Lake County organizations.

"This is awesome to see how many people are here," said Garden Club secretary Ruth Fox, greeting attendees at the club's first annual meet and greet/auction fundraiser event. "I thank the members of the garden club and those who donated toward the silent auction, and those who set up the food. Many hands make work light."

The garden club has been in existence since 2000. Its motto is, "Fun, flowers and friendship," and its purpose is to "promote a greater interest in conservation and protection of our natural environment; to stimulate activity in civic improvement; and to encourage the love and respect of nature."

"Our main focus is to beautify Lake County. We plan to put in a butterfly garden this fall at Hollister Senior Center. Another project is the library garden at Pathfinder Community Library, which is looking really nice. We have done beautification projects at Shrine of the Pines, and every year we go to Grand Oaks Nursing Center and plant their patio," Fox said.

Fox explained the Garden Club also reaches out to other community projects and organizations, and have donated money to Bread of Life Food Pantry, Hollister Senior Center, the Christmas for Kids program, and would consider supporting other groups.

Club members also enjoy outings, such as shopping trips for plants and flowers, and have traveled to a lily farm, a lavender farm and a wine tasting event in Traverse City, among other places. They also host plant exchanges.

During monthly meetings, members have enjoyed special speakers such as bee keepers, nursery owners, and even a "bat lady" from the forestry service, Fox added.

"If people are interested in joining, dues are only $10 a year. That is a great deal. We usually serve dinner at our meetings," Fox said. Meetings are every second Thursday at 5:30 p.m. April through December.

Wolf Lake resident Jeanne Duffing was very impressed with the evening's event.

"I am so glad I came this evening. There were so many great auction items, and I am so impressed to hear about everything the club does in our county," she said.

Also during the event, museum docents were available to give people tours of the many intriguing displays and historical items at the museum.