Sarah J. Olson, President
The Garden Club of Montclair
See also outgoing President's letter
Dear Fellow Garden Club Members and Provisionals,
I am honored to become President for the next two years after a successful year led by Sarah Stransky. As Chair of Garden Therapy, I attained my personal goal of giving back to our community. I challenged committees to focus on "giving back" as they planned their season's programs and events. They have done just that, and I encourage each of you to get involved in Club activities that fulfill your personal growth goals and feed your soul. Our first program this fall highlights what each committee does so that you can decide which activities to dive into.
Climate change and the environment are foremost on many of our minds. Our Club is poised to be a leader for these causes in our community; therefore, we are re-energizing our Environment Committee to lead the charge in educating our members and the public. They will find ways to create "Acts of Restorative Kindness" to our earth within our community, intersecting with other Club committees as they pursue this mission. I look forward to seeing committee chairs interpret this concept of restoration for the areas they lead and how each of you do your part to make changes that benefit our planet. The talent and creativity in this Club abounds, making me excited and confident for us all to meet the challenge.
The Committee Reports give you a good picture of what our Club has offered to the community this past year. We were ACTIVE! Our challenge this year will be to integrate the Garden Club and its environmental mission with the community at large in a bigger way. Whether it be more outreach to our schools, other non-profits, business districts, our parks, or the township, our goal is to build synergistic relationships between people of vision working toward a common good. Accomplishing this elevates the profile of our Club, creating more awareness of the benefits the Garden Club provides the community.
On these pages or on our fabulous website, watch for news of our exceptional social gatherings such as Open Gardens, events at Avis Campbell Gardens, various field trips, our educational Programs and Workshops, and philanthropic activities you can join. They are all fun and rewarding ... we always learn something new and continue to build enduring friendships. I commend and thank the hard-working committees who make this all happen for The Garden of Montclair. Your efforts and support make this Club a joy to lead.
Outgoing President's Letter
Sarah Stransky, President
The Garden Club of Montclair
Dear Members and Provisionals,
What a year we had! I am truly awed by the accomplishments of this organization for 2022-23. We resiliently stepped forward from the pandemic years and willingly embraced uncharted and renewed paths.
The year opened with the final planning and presentation of the mid-September Arts & Flowers: A Design Standard Flower Show.
This enormous body of work involving most of the Membership and attracting close to 700 in the community, was a spectacular achievement as recognized by the National Garden Clubs' Certificate of Merit with Rosette for a Design Specialty Flower Show, and The Garden Club of New Jersey's numerous awards for the finest judged flower show, for staging, for the schedule, and three individual design awards: Designer's Choice, Petite, and Tricolor.
Other committees were digging in, organizing for a full "in person" Club year. Avis and Triangle beds vibrantly smiled, due to the dedicated hours of many caring Members and Provisionals. Program topics from NYBG Orchids to the Gardens of Santa Fe, along with Flower Design, Horticulture, and Botanical Arts engaged over seventy-five members and the community at monthly meetings. And we just loved being together again, chatting over delicious savories and sweets, compliments of Hospitality. Often the conversations centered around posts on our stunning, intuitive website, the 24th year newsletter, Potpourri, or weekly e-blasts which featured the latest Club news including committee work like Garden Therapy bouquet sessions and many others. These occasions offered perfect opportunities to meet and engage our 20 new Provisionals. Timely Workshops with specific-to-topic Boutique items for sale prepared us for monthly competitions. We continued the fellowship at wonderful gatherings like 70 years of Avis Campbell Gardens and our Holiday Tea, as well as our May Annual Membership Meeting Luncheon.
With a Presidential goal to embrace and value our Membership, especially after a few years of not meeting in person, I found you, as a Club, eager to take the challenge with me! We met in a variety of locations and reached out to less mobile Members to offer transportation. Sadly, we acknowledged the loss of seven valued Members, especially 2022-23 Program Vice-Chair, Ginny Demoreuille.
It has been my honor and joy to serve our Club again for one year as President. Twenty years later, this organization is thriving. Thank you all for your outstanding leadership and commitment to our purposes. I also appreciate your kindness as we navigated together through those uncharted paths. I leave you in the very best of hands, with your quite capable 2023-25 President, Sarah Olson. I know Sarah will so enjoy this leadership opportunity, as have I.
Back to current President's Letter