Awards highlight Garden Club of Kent's President's Banquet

By Mary Louise Ruehr Published:

The Garden Club of Kent held its 66th annual President's Banquet recently in the Conference Center at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown.

After the dinner, Rick Strebler, club president, opened the program.

Lee Hall and Betsy Neylon honored the memory of Richard Reaser and Julia Strebler, club members who had died during the previous year.

Dick Abbott presented the Paul and Leah Houser Community Beautification Award to Ron Burbick in appreciation of his extensive construction and beautification of downtown Kent. Burbick offered a few remarks about his reasons for investing in Kent.

John Gwinn received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his longtime service to the club, most recently as the chair of the August Horticultural Show.

Judy Woudenberg earned the Horticulture Award and John McAlarney the Service Award.

Annual Achievement Awards went to Claudia Miller, Marianne McAlarney, John Siefer, Dennis Arbor, Elisa Loveland and Karen Smith.

A new award in 2013 is the "Friends of The Garden Club of Kent." The first recipient of this award is AquaDoc of Chardon. For three years, AquaDoc has been cleaning and maintaining the water garden at the Ode to Joy building located at Ravenna and Seasons roads in Kent, a service the club members appreciate. Eric Koch and John Wilson accepted the award for AquaDoc from Lowell Orr.

Sara Pedde presented a slide show, with complementary music, highlighting the numerous club activities during 2012.

The evening closed with drawings for hospitality baskets, created and donated by John and Bonnie Zuchniak, and the distribution of the fresh-flower centerpieces arranged by Bonnie Zuchniak, Mary Kline, Sue ­Abbott, Terri Woodliff and Ron Snowberger.

The next dinner meeting will be held Monday in the Pierson Meeting Room of the United Methodist Church of Kent, 1435 E. Main St. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the public. Dinner reservations are required by Friday by calling Harold at 330-673-1686.

The speaker will be Emliss Ricks, Hiram College land steward and consultant on special projects for the Ohio Prairie Nursery. He will speak on conservation concerns.

For more information on the Garden Club of Kent, visit gardenclubofkent.org.

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