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Letter from the Outgoing President

Florence Leyssène
Outgoing President
Garden Club of Montclair

September, 2022 


My Dear Garden Club Members and Provisionals,


While our purpose has always been Education, Beautification and Fellowship, we had to face new challenges these past three years. We reset our expectations, adapting and reconnecting in new ways; recharged with creativity, moving forward with renewed energy; and rebloomed by growing together, returning stronger than before.


This letter is a tribute to our dedicated committees who stayed connected by reinventing themselves using technology. Communications helped us daily with a new user-friendly website, weekly with e-blast emails, monthly with Potpourri, and yearly with the Yearbook.


The use of the Zoom virtual platform helped us to stay engaged in new ways. We met remotely for all of our Board Meetings, our Programs with very inspiring speakers, our Designs and Horticulture Exhibitions, our numerous workshops, demonstrations and tutorials, and our Holiday Tea. We also reinvented ourselves without technology — Avis Campbell Gardens and Triangle Gardens kept the heart of the Garden Club going, meeting safely outdoors. The Open Garden Tours, graciously offered by Members, were a delight with so much positive energy coming out of these afternoons. Garden Therapy was no exception by reaching out to many different communities, while Youth managed to plant tulips with the Deron School. Despite the restrictions, the Crane House and Historic YWCA decorating took place and was again a highlight to kick off the holiday season. Membership worked tirelessly to recruit and welcome many new Members, without whom our Club would not thrive. So many other committees contributed in ways large and small to move the Club forward.


Our Members’ engagement made the impossible possible. The participation of these past years was impressive at all levels. We received National and State Awards for our contributions. Innovative times required lots of creativity and we all made it together. I also want to thank our community, Van Vleck House & Gardens, New Jersey Community Capital, Union Congregational Church, and Montclair History Center who supported us very graciously during this difficult time. Thank you all.

I had three incredible years of learning experience thanks to your support and love. I will never forget it! Now after three years, it is time for me to pass the torch to Sarah Stransky, who has the perfect skills to lead this wonderful Garden Club and make it thrive!


Very fondly,

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