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Garden club celebrates 80th anniversary

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By John Barnhart

    The Blue Ridge Garden Club celebrated its 80th anniversary with a luncheon and plant sale that drew 200 people.

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    The lunch and plant sale is an annual event, something the club has done for 50 years. The lunch menu has changed little over the years and, as usual, everything was made by club members, including the biscuits for the ham biscuits. Members sign up every year as to what they will make and most have a specialty.

    They had the largest turn-out ever, 200 people showed up, according to Bonnie Ellefson, the club’s current president. Dubbed A Garden A-Faire, the event was done differently with club members spending part of the preceding day decorating Main Street United Methodist’s fellowship hall. Ellefson said that Lowes loaned $2,000 worth of merchandise to help the club.

    “That was a huge help,” she said.

    The loan consisted of outdoor umbrellas, which were set up over tables, and lattice panels. The lattices were placed around the walls and decorated with plants. Ellefson said that this helped them break up the blankness of otherwise bare walls.

    The Blue Ridge Garden Club is the second oldest garden club in the Bedford area. It has 30 members and fundraising events provide money for beautification projects. They also donate to the National D-Day Memorial for annual flowers for its flower beds.

    Another of its regular projects is a person. Every year they provide a $700 scholarship to send a youth to Nature Camp in Vesuvius. “Nature Camp is a private, non-profit, residential, co-ed summer camp specializing in natural history and environmental science education, one of the oldest of its kind in the country. Since 1942 Nature Camp has sought to train a corps of interested, knowledgeable youth, 5th - 12th grades, to conserve and protect the environment and to become wise stewards of the earth’s natural resources,” according to its Webs ite at www.naturecamp.net.