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Garden Club wraps up year

By Staff Reports

Cultura Garden Club held its last meeting of the year in May at the beautiful home of Brenda Oliver with Barbara Sage serving as co-hostess. Club members were served a delicious meal and enjoyed socializing and dining.

President Martha Sibley presided over her last meeting as president of the Garden Club. In the business meeting, the minutes were approved. Cheri McCain announced that the Club had been approved to receive a grant from the Franklin County Community Development Commission. These funds will be used to continue the club’s Downtown Beautification Project. The club placed and planted 40 new flower pots along Jackson Avenue in the fall. The older pots that were still usable were placed at some other locations around town – two each at the Franklin County Archives building, the historic Reedtown School and the VFW building and pots at the corners of Washington and Madison streets and Washington and Lawrence streets were added. The A. W. Todd Center also received a new landscape by placing three flower pots there, planting ten knockout rose bushes and planting shrubbery that had outgrown some of the old flower pots.

The Club is thankful and very appreciative for the help of the Russellville City Street Department with all of their downtown projects. During the meeting, discussion was held for a summer watering schedule with the hope that help could be secured due to the numerous pots and hanging baskets needing water each day.

Debbie Beason reported on the District I meeting in Decatur that she and Brenda Oliver attended. At the meeting, Cultura received several district awards and state awards presented at the 2016 state convention.
The state awards included first place for the Every Light a Prayer for Peace ceremony the club held in December on the courthouse steps. This was the second year in a row for the club receiving this award.

The club received third place in the state for the Christmas lighting and decorations placed at the Franklin County Courthouse and along the streets downtown during the Christmas holidays. Due to their many community projects, the club received a “Club of Distinction” award from the state president.

The club was excited and proud to receive the news that two students from the Russellville City School System who participated in the recent Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl Poster Contest had become state winners. The club had sponsored the nationwide competition at the schools. Cultura sent the winning posters on to the state level of the competition. First place in the first grade state competition went to West Elementary student Skylar Ergle. In the second grade competition, Citali Mojica, second grader at West Elementary, was awarded the second place state award. Their posters have now been sent to the National Garden Club to be entered into the national competition for Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl posters. At the district level, the club received first place for the Downtown Beautification Award.

Club member Carol Dykes gave a very informative and interesting program on Gardening with Youth at the May meeting. She had handouts for each member, including a package of sunflower seeds to be planted and enjoyed.

Fundraising committee member Michelle Sibley gave a report about the upcoming BBQ fundraising dinner, which would help benefit the continued flower plantings and decorations for the downtown area during the year. Tickets were distributed to members to sell, and a picture was taken for the newspaper.

Martha Sibley gave a brief recap of all the projects, fundraisers and accomplishments of the club over the past two years and thanked the members for their support and hard work.

 She presented each outgoing officer with a monogrammed hand towel that she had done in appreciation for their dedication to the club.

A bird theme was used for installation of new officers. As each new officer was installed, Sibley presented each one with a monogrammed towel and a bird and bird’s nest. Gardeners just naturally become bird watchers. Birds come to gardens for the early worm, and they drink and bathe in garden bird baths. So it seemed natural to her to install the new officers using a bird theme.

The new 2016-2018 Cultura Garden Club officers are
 President Debbie Beason, 1st Vice-President Hillary Hall, 2nd Vice-President Michelle Sibley, Secretary Cheri McCain, Treasurer Barbara Sage, Parliamentarian Patricia Cox and Historian Doris Woodruff.

Sibley asked the Cultura members to pledge to support the new officers since “birds of a feather flock together.” The meeting was adjourned after a fun plant swap and door prizes.