Members of the Richmond Hill Garden Club held their fall kick-off meeting Sept. 11 at the Wetlands Center in JF Gregory Park.
The new board members, led by Gloria Shearin — who conducted the meeting in the absence of the new president, Jan Davis — reviewed the summer’s accomplishments in the community and coordinating details for the upcoming fall events.
Betsy Wilson opened the meeting with a moment of silence and a special devotional in honor of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy. Wilson chose to share the story of Irving Berlin and his family, who emigrated from Russia to escape persecution. Berlin recalled his mother’s constant reminder that God had so blessed them and had shown special favor upon their newly adopted country of America. His mother inspired Berlin to later write “God Bless America.”
When asked why she chose that particular passage for the meeting, Wilson said, “I chose it because it was Patriots Day. [On that day], the very basis on which our country was founded had been attacked.”
“There was a surge in patriotism, which we need to continue with so many problems we face today as a nation,” she continued. “We can only continue to strive to be a great nation as long as we seek God’s guidance ... one nation under God.”
On 9/11, Wilson and her husband, Bob, were on an Alaskan cruise and felt rather helpless.
“The ship was composed of employees from many nations, and they held a memorial service for us to honor and respect our great country,” she said.
Wilson closed the devotional by having club members join her in singing “God Bless America.”
Club members have been busy the past few months, working in teams to improve Henderson Park and by planting and reworking the landscaped areas at Magnolia Manor. Pictures of the beautification projects can be found on the club’s Facebook page.
The club’s biggest fundraiser, the annual Pumpkin Patch, is from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at J.F. Gregory Park. Attendees will be able to pick up pumpkins in all sizes, as well as mums. Baked goods also will be on sale.
The club meets at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Wetlands Center. Meetings are free and open to the public. There is will be no October meeting due to the Pumpkin Patch. The next meeting will be Nov. 13.