Growth was in the air when the GFWC/Ohio Wintersville Woman's Club held its April 19 meeting at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville.
"Plant Seeds to Cultivate New Members" was the theme of the meeting where a packet of seeds was at each place-setting as a favor. I loved that.
Club members were encouraged to bring a guest to the meeting in an effort to keep the club adding to its membership, a practice that apparently works as Ruth Carson, membership chairman, and committee member Gloria Popp conducted an initiation ceremony to welcome into the club new members Donna Phillips, Kathy Furda, Steffie Bozic and Rosalie Falbo. Each was presented a yellow rose and membership pin.
Club President Judy Anastasia, right, with guest speaker Mike Hogan of the Jefferson County Ohio State University Extension office
Guests at the meeting welcomed were Sharon Adams, Anita Jackson, Mary Kay Davis, Leslie Thermes, Patty Dennis and Liz Morelli.
And the guest speaker talked of growth, too, a timely topic as we all start thinking about gardens and flowers and such.
"The Basics of Container Gardening" was the subject addressed by Mike Hogan, an Extension educator for the Jefferson County office of the Ohio State University Extension, who was introduced by Nancy Honse. His job is to help farmers, landowners and home gardeners improve their lives through agriculture.
Those of us lucky enough to sit with Hogan during lunch, including me, CarolynLee Barrett, Mary Beth Allen, Judy Anastasia and Honse, got the chance to get some info on a variety of questions that those very resourceful, knowledgeable Extension representatives always have the answers to - everything from animal-friendly fertilizers to stink bugs. Hogan gave a very informative Power Point presentation on container gardening that's a win-win-win: It adds colors and interest very quickly to landscapes, takes less space and energy, and is both versatile and mobile.
A concept that has a long history in Europe and Asia has only within the last 25 years taken root in the United States with the use of hanging baskets. Hogan gave pointers on the types of containers to use, suggesting their size and weight be considered especially if there are plans to move them.
Containers can be unique - cowboy boots, toilets and kitchen sinks - but drainage holes are absolutely necessary. Hogan advised using soil-less mixes as opposed to garden soil and emphasized waiting until after May 15 to plant. That's the alleged cut-off day for frost in the Buckeye State - or so we hope.
If you have questions for the Extension agents, they are most accommodating. You can reach them at (740) 264-2212.
When the club business got under way after Hogan's presentation, Anastasia snuck in a little birthday surprise for me, presenting me with a "horse first aid kit" - not for my horse Coffee but for me, since I had written a column about having been bitten. I appreciate the club's concern and sense of humor.
Nancy Smith offered the meditation on "Mother's Recipe" and offered grace before the noon luncheon.
Hostesses, led by Sandi Santicola, chair, were Claudia Clevenger, Kathy Frey, Paula Nutter, Helen Reed and Charlotte Shively.
Barb Grimm, corresponding secretary, read a thank-you note from the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County for the 75 books donated from the club's "Book Nook." A name plate noting they came from the club will be put inside each one.
In an education report, Jackie Davis noted the book nook will resume in the fall.
Joan Martinez, chairman of international affairs, reported coupons valued at $2,969.28 were mailed to a military base in Okinawa, Japan.
In old business:
Martinez, also chairman of the nominating committee, presented Marjean Sizemore's name to fill the position of first vice president, vacated with the relocation of Debra Farrow.
Sizemore announced the club received 23 awards at Legislation Day held in Belpre, including 15 district awards, seven special and one state award, the latter because of inducting 11 new members.
The GFWC/Ohio State Convention was attended by Sizemore, Linda Nolf and Barb Thermes, the latter of whom shared her impressions of having attended such an event for the first time.
Thermes said she came away from the convention feeling inspired and reaffirmed that women know how to get things done. (Amen to that!) She also relayed how incredibly lucky she was at the event, coming away a winner in a number of drawings.
Sizemore added that the club placed fifth in the state for awards won, some of which were Education Community Service Program, Leadership, Membership, Arts and Crafts Auction, Art Community Service, Annual Reports, Conservation Community Service Program, Home Life Community Service, 100 percent Loyal Jonquils Donation, Buckeye Magazine, Club Woman Magazine, Photography, Club Newsletter (second place), Media Book Contest (second place), Communications and Identity, OFWC Signature Project Domestic Violence, "Kind News" 12 classrooms and President's Special Emphasis. The club also was commended for its sponsorship of Gabe the therapy dog owned by Barrett.
Sizemore has agreed to co-chair with Pat Freeland the 2012 Holiday Splendor in December, while Suzy Crawford has agreed to be the vendors chairman.
In new business Imogene Louk, chairman of the scholarship committee, noted the club would be giving two $1,000 scholarships to students from Indian Creek High School and also increasing to two $500 scholarships to Eastern Gateway Community College.
The club's final meeting of the 2011-12 club season will be held May 17 at noon at St. Florian Hall featuring the fundraiser "Make It, Bake It, Take It" auction with Lil Ferguson as auctioneer. Members are reminded that the $35 dues will be collected.