GTGC celebrates 50th anniversary at Valentine Tea Party

By Margo Fatzinger
Green Thumb Garden Club

CLEWISTON — On Saturday, Feb. 15, the Clewiston Green Thumb Garden Club (GTGC) sponsored a Valentine Tea Party. This was a special event because GTGC was also celebrating 50 years of service.

Mary Ann Jones, vice president of GTGC, officiated the program and welcomed everyone to the Valentine Tea Party.

Pastor Jeff Smith of the First United Methodist Church (FUMC), in Clewiston, gave the invocation.

Several flavors of tea were set at each table along with various types of fruit bread, tea sandwiches and desserts made or baked by GTGC members. A beautiful cake with “50th Anniversary 1970-2020” written on it was served at the party. Denise Hatton decorated the anniversary cake.

There was a centerpiece at each table with fresh flowers in a cup on top of a gold box with the number 50 in the flowers. Sandra Cook, member of the GTGC, made the centerpieces. The beautiful floral arrangements were given away as a table prize.

Our servers, Clewiston High School Public Service Academy members, did a wonderful job serving everyone.

While everyone was eating, a slide show of GTGC activities over the past 50 years was shown. Margo Fatzinger, recording secretary of GTGC, assisted by Suzanne French made a slide show of pictures taken from scrapbooks and smartphones from 1970 to 2020. L.J. Pierce, worship leader of FUMC, operated the projector.

During the program, Aimee Sweet sang a beautiful solo titled “You’re Gonna Be” by Reba McEntire. The children sang “If You Love Me and You Know It” and received a valentine necklace and stuffed animal for their participation.

The High School Public Service Academy was asked to come up to the front. Mary Ann Jones presented them with a check of a donation for their wonderful help and service to our community from the GTGC.

A silent auction was held at the Tea Party with beautiful plants and various items that would make great gifts. Janet Way, corresponding secretary of GTGC, was in charge of the silent auction and was assisted by Tena Harris, member of GTGC. A lot of women and children received great bargains. They were very happy to receive great door prizes!

There was a table displaying scrapbooks of photos and clippings of newspaper articles of activities from the past 50 years, 1970 to 2020, of the GTGC and its service to the community. The members of the GTGC were asked to come up to the stage for a picture and were thanked for all of their hard work in sponsoring the Valentine Tea Party. There were just under 100 women and children in attendance and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

The 2019 to 2020 GTGC officers are: President Kitty Gray, Vice President Mary Ann Jones, Second Vice President Mae McDonald, Recording Secrectary Margo Fatzinger, Corresponding Secretary Janet Way, Treasurer Ninette Aker, Historian Judith French and Chaplain Karen Cochrane.

The GTGC was formed in May 1970 and has worked continuously to support and beautify the Glades area. Some of the more recent endeavors we have accomplished are:
• Decorate the Clewiston Library during the Christmas season with natural ornaments for all to enjoy and donate money annually for magazines to be purchased by the library for public use.
• Donated $500 for beautification of Westside Elementary grounds.
• Donation made to Clewiston High School for planting trees.
• Mother’s Day flowers and flower pots donated to Eastside Elementary Kindergarten classes.
• Gardening tools, supplies and plants for the Hendry County Schools S.T.E.A.M. program were donated.
• Donated money to the City of Clewiston for beautification of the Civic Park plantings, the new Veterans Memorial Fountain, the Veterans Plaque and planters in front of city hall.
• Donation made to the Calusa Nature Center in Fort Myers after their aviary was destroyed in a hurricane.
• A $500 scholarship was given to one Clewiston High School agricultural student from the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019.
• A $500 scholarship was given to one Clewiston High School Public Service Academy student from the classes of 2017, 2018 and and 2019.
• We are members of the Clewiston Chamber of Commerce, the Clewiston Museum, and the Florida Federated Garden Clubs Inc. of the United States.
We continually strive to help in the beautification of our city. We want to thank everyone who attended this Valentine Tea to help support our projects. We are honored to celebrate our 50th anniversary year.

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