Once a year, in October, The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut has conducted its Annual Awards Meeting at the Aqua Turf Club on behalf of its 122 Connecticut Garden Clubs. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event was held as an online webinar tuned in by over 350 members.
The Cheshire Garden Club was presented with National, New England and Connecticut awards, totaling 10 overall, including three individual club members.
In the photo, former club president Ginni Donovan is pictured at right holding up her Designer of the Year award from the National Garden Clubs, and a poster for the Federation’s 2020 Flower Show “Spring into Connecticut,” which was held at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford in February. The event, chaired by Donovan, garnered an award from the New England Garden Clubs for Best Flower Show Schedule.
For the webinar, any Connecticut garden club member could fashion a design using a pumpkin. From 38 entries, six were selected to be voted on by the membership. Donovan’s pumpkin design, depicted on the certificate at the front right corner, took first place.
Club President Anupa Simpatico, who was unable to attend the award ceremony, won a Certificate of Individual Achievement in Horticulture.
Former Club President Inge Venus, pictured at left, was involved in several projects during the year that were recognized by New England as well as by Connecticut. As Youth chair, she sponsored several high school students in a National essay contest, which was won by Cheshire’s Aishwarya Benzy among entries from all six New England states. Venus’ monthly newsletter, as well as her Publicity Press Book, took first place among Connecticut garden clubs. The club also received a Certificate of Merit for Venus’ pictorial and written history of the club for each decade from 1920 to 2019. Furthermore, Venus was instrumental in planting 18 of 19 trees in various locations throughout Cheshire, for which the club received the Arboreal Award.
Venus also received a Certificate of Individual Achievement in Environmental Concerns and Conservation for her promotion of gardening beneficial to birds, bees, and butterflies; as immediate former president of The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, her contest theme of “Plant a pollinator-friendly garden” resulted in numerous Connecticut gardeners establishing such a garden in their own communities – thus raising awareness for crucial environmental issues.