WINTER HAVEN – For 72 years, the Bouquet Garden Club has been educating its members about the care and use of flowers while supporting the community. Each month, more than 30 members meet for fellowship, food and to learn about local flora.
“With each of our monthly meetings, we have the opportunity to enjoy long-standing friendships — as well as establishing new relationships — all while we are learning, growing and serving our community together,” said Lois Duel, Bouquet Garden Club President.
In 1946, The Bouquet Garden Club was created by women who promised to “create a civic interest in gardens, their design and management and to familiarize its members with floral arrangement.”
That promise is maintained during the monthly meetings, as two of the upcoming topics are butterfly gardening and holiday decorating from the garden.
“There are so many topics to help members learn about gardening in Florida,” Duel said.
Without a place to meet, the Bouquet Garden Club worked together with other garden clubs in town to build the Winter Haven Garden Center in 1969. The Club — and three other garden clubs — still meet in and maintain the building located on Third Street. The Bouquet Garden Club is responsible for the waterfall and butterfly garden located on the grounds of the Garden Center.
“It is this unique and lovely building’s event hall that our Bouquet members transform into a themed Fashion Show each October for our sole charity fundraiser,” Duel said.
The Fashion Show raises money for a litany of different charities that the Bouquet Garden Club donates to each year. The list is long but includes monthly contributions and Christmas gifts to needy families through the Project Love Program of Eloise and financial support of the “Penny Pines” Program.
This year’s Fashion Show will be held Oct. 23 noon and 6 p.m.
The tickets to the “April in Paris”-themed event are on sale now and must be purchased in advance. The event includes a fashion show of clothes for the entire family from Macy’s, a silent auction and “Taste and Tell” — a sampling of food from local restaurants such as Harry’s, Harborside and The Back Porch.
Ladies interested in becoming a part of the Club must be sponsored by a current member and attend at least one meeting before applying for membership. After completing an application, the executive board reviews it and then votes on the request.
Currently, there are 37 members from Winter Haven and the surrounding area.
This year’s officers are Lois Duel, President; Marge Stoddard, First Vice President; Marilyn Alderman, Second Vice President; Dale Storms, Recording Secretary and Advisor; Becky Reeves, Treasurer; Lee Raley, Corresponding Secretary; and Linda Moisa, Parliamentarian.
The Bouquet Garden Club meets September through May on the second Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at the Winter Haven Garden Club, located at 715 3rd Street, N.W.
For more information, call the Bouquet Garden Club at (863) 293-7638.