CLEARWATER - Larry King, a longtime member of the Belleair Garden Club, was installed as president of the Area Beautification Council of Upper Pinellas at its end-of-the-meeting at Clearwater Garden Club headquarters on May 4. Alice Changstrom, representing the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, conducted the installation ceremony. Other officers who will serve in the new year are Lois Archer, Safety Harbor Garden Cub, vice president; Rita Hall, Dunedin Garden Club, secretary; and Jean Jorgenson, Top of the Bay Garden Club, treasurer.
Serving on the council are representatives of ten area garden clubs. They include the Bay Bouquet Garden Club of Dunedin, Belleair Garden Club, Belleair Beach Island Garden Club, Clearwater Garden Club, Dunedin Garden Club, Garden Club of Largo, Palm Harbor Garden Club, Safety Harbor Garden Club, Tarpon Springs Garden Club and Top of the Bay Garden Club of Oldsmar. Though each sends one official representative, members of all the clubs are invited to sit in on the meetings which are held in October, December, February and April. Council members share ideas, programs and projects. They also discuss new trends in gardening, King advises.
King, who was president of the Belleair Garden Club from 1992 to 1994 and again from 1998 to 2000, replaces Jean Rogers of Top of the Bay Garden Club as president of the council. She will serve a two-year term, as will all the elected officers.
The council recently announced the winners of its annual beautification awards. First place went to the Garden Club of Largo for its work at Stepping Stones. The Tarpon Springs Garden Club received second place for its efforts in Meres Park, where members maintain a garden started by a group of ladies in the 1890s. The Dunedin Garden Club was awarded third place for its rose garden along the Pinellas Trail in Dunedin. An award is also presented each year for the best beautification project undertaken by a club's junior gardening unit. This year's winner was a monarch butterfly garden created by the Palm Harbor Jr. Gardeners at McMullen Booth Elementary School.
Each year the Area Beautification Council gives $20 to each garden club to use for a money-making project and holds a "make it grow" contest to see which club can raise the most. This year the Top of the Bay Garden Club won the award for most seed money turned in. Due to their efforts, that $20 was used to make $196.20. The council operates on a limited budget. When funds are available, it awards scholarships to Camp Wekiva, a summer camp for junior gardeners.
Meetings will resume in the fall. Gary DeTores, a docent at the Panama Canal Museum in Seminole and a third generation "Zonian", is scheduled to be guest speaker at the council's first meeting of the new year in October.
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