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Stockbridge Garden Club looking to grow

 

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent 

  A relatively small group of ladies has been gathering in Stockbridge for many years to participate in a large number of interesting activities, but many people throughout Henry County are probably not even aware of the group’s existence.

L to r: Stockbridge Garden Club members Beverly Dillard, Kappy Morris, Margaret Gilbert, Barbara Holmes and Pamela Reagin.

Photo by Monroe Roark

  The Stockbridge Garden Club has been in Henry County for nearly eight decades, since forming in 1935. Its original meeting place was on East Atlanta Road, but since 1950 the group has met in a red brick, ranch-style house on Club Drive just off North Henry Blvd. The name “Stockbridge Garden Club” in large black letters adorns the outside of the building.

  Inside that unassuming house in this quiet neighborhood, some very busy ladies gather regularly to provide beautification and community service through a number of projects.

  Making lap blankets for seniors, taking floral projects to senior centers, delivering Thanksgiving dinner to the fire department, developing gardens – these are some of the ongoing items on the Stockbridge Garden Club’s schedule. The group has also sponsored such projects as landscaping for the Stockbridge City Cemetery, the purchase of a fountain for Sacred Journey Hospice, donating granite markers to the city, planting flowers in the city, and providing flowers to local public buildings.

  Building the membership base is vital to keeping the club’s various service projects in operation. The club consists of about two dozen regular members, and many of those are advanced in age to the point that they cannot be as active as they would like. With this in mind, the club is reaching out for new members, especially younger ones.

  Monthly meetings take place every third Wednesday at 10 a.m. For some meetings the group will take a trip to a garden or historic site around the state. The recent schedule included a visit to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and an excursion to Gibbs Garden in Ball Ground during the Daffodil Festival.

  The club is traveling to Chattanooga in mid-November for a riverboat ride and to take in the Tennessee Aquarium and other local sites. A trip to the Governor’s Mansion is on tap for December, when the Christmas decorations are on full display, and that is always of interest to club members.

  Some meetings are a bit simpler, such as the plant swap held last May at one member’s home. The ladies simply told stories about the plants they brought and enjoyed a good time together.

  To keep doing what they love and helping in the community as they would like, the club needs more “womanpower” as well as a financial boost. Members pay dues every August, and that money goes toward upkeep on the house that is their base of operation as well as the projects they undertake.

  “We recognize the extreme need to build membership,” said Morris. “We want to grow so we can do more in the community. If only a few people turn out [for meetings and projects], the workload is bigger.”

  Last year a fundraiser at Upscale Fashion consignment store in Stockbridge was successful. The store owner, who is a member of the club, hosted the event and some of her inventory was used for a fashion show.

  In 2011 the club published a cookbook, and some copies are still available, Morris said.

The club’s own facility can be rented for holiday parties, showers, receptions, community meetings and other special events. It is equipped with a kitchen, two bathrooms, and a large meeting area. The cost of $100 for four hours plus a deposit.

   The house will be the site of a Christmas bazaar scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. It is located at 104 Club Drive in Stockbridge. It is the second house on the left, just behind the Suntrust bank, after turning onto Club Drive from North Henry Blvd. A number of craft vendors will be on hand with ideas for Christmas gifts, and the ladies of the club will serve soup, blackeyed peas and cornbread.

   The club looks forward to continuing these kinds of fun events and making a contribution to the community in which they live.

  “I love the fellowship – the ladies having trips together, talking about gardening,” said Morris. “We have a lot of activities and community service, and I enjoy being in it.”

  For anyone interested in information on the Stockbridge Garden Club, contact Kappy Morris at 770-402-7930 or Beverly Dillard at 770-957-2413.

 

 

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