This committee, conceived of in 2015, is responsible for mentoring new members and organizing a coffee/tea in September at a member’s home. The purpose is for new members to meet committee chairs, learn about Club projects, set up a mentoring process, and facilitate the assimilation of new members into the Club. New members benefit by feeling welcomed. Participants at the coffee/tea are new members and committee chairs. Around 20 members attended September 2015; around 15 new members attended in September 2016.
This long‐standing, one person committee was folded into Club Relations. The co‐chair is responsible for sending cards to members who are ill, need encouragement, or who have lost a loved one. Christmas cards are sent to shut‐ins. Members benefit by being remembered and recognized during a difficult period.
Conservation and Education
This committee promotes and reports on conservation and environmental issues. Activities include informational articles to members, field trips, book discussions, films, EGC, CGI, and NGC initiatives; as well as initiating a Club project (such as milkweed seeds). Member participation varies from 10 to 25. Club and community benefit by learning about environmental, conservation, sustainability, ecological issues, and if needed, the required action steps. The committee meets as needed.
Designs and Exhibits
This committee is responsible for providing floral exhibits and arrangements for Elmhurst Garden Club (EGC) events. Arrangements may be made to compliment an event, to sell for fundraising (member arrangements are routinely sold at our December holiday luncheon), or for educational purposes. This committee coordinates the long‐standing tradition for decorating/and tearing down holiday decorations at the Elmhurst Public Library and coordinates table floral arrangements made by Club members for our Annual Spring Luncheon in April. Other projects may be conducted as requested by the Elmhurst Garden Club Board of Directors (i.e., Christmas House Walk, the Kitchen Walk, events at the Elmhurst Public Library and requests from other civic organizations in Elmhurst). Ten to 15/20 members participate (depending on the task) by making floral arrangement for the requested functions and in setting up and tearing down decorations at EPL. Club benefits by an augmentation in the treasury; floral designs are enhanced through educational workshops; members develop new acquaintances and camaraderie by participating in workshops, decorating the EPL, or by participating in collaborative functions with other civic organizations and clubs. Community benefits by seeing the library decorated for the holidays; involvement with other organizations and clubs promotes civic relationship building, community involvement, and organizational reciprocity. The committee meets as scheduled by the chair or co‐chairs to plan, coordinate, design, and work on projects and events. Meetings are announced at our regular meetings and in the newsletter.
Members assist participating guests of the Lutheran Evangelical Adult Day Care Center to make floral arrangements which are taken home to their families. The Adult Day Care Center benefits by the provision of additional recreation and socialization opportunities for its guests, as well as staff and caregiver support. Club members participate by contributing two‐litre plastic soda bottles for use as floral bases, providing garden cuttings to be used in the arrangements, helping trim the store‐bought floral materials and garden cuttings, and assisting guests to make the table arrangements. The committee meets at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Vallette and Spring Roads) on the third Wednesday of each month (except July and August) at 12:30 pm.
This is a cooperative effort between the Elmhurst Garden Club and Elmhurst Park District. It was established at the Glos Memorial Park in 1980; moved to the formal gardens in Wilder Park in July 1998, when the gardens were dedicated on June 14, 1999. This committee has between eight to twelve members who consistently participate from 8:30 to 10:00 am on five monthly Wednesdays during the growing season. These members plant; maintain; prepare the award‐winning garden for the Garden Walk and Faire; and in the fall, harvest the herbs and put the garden to rest for the winter. Member benefits include a sense of satisfaction, pride, camaraderie and enjoyment in maintaining the herb garden. Club benefits by taking an active lead in demonstrating to the community how herbs can successfully be used in landscape design. Community benefits by having access to a well‐maintained herb garden as part of the larger formal garden in Wilder Park. Herbs grown for medicine, culinary and aroma are all labeled. The newsletter includes the work schedule and features information on how to use the selected herbs.
This one person committee maintains historical records and materials significant to the Club. She honors deceased members, purchases a memorial brick, prepares a tribute to a member chosen by the Executive Committee to be honored at the Annual Meeting. The Club and community benefit by the resources and knowledge of this person. She provides historical write ups in our newsletters and serves as a consultant for historical facts for press releases. She eloquently delivers a speech at regular meetings and writes about historical members and/or events in our newsletter.
This committee is responsible for reporting on and promoting horticultural issues at regular meetings and events. Such activities include (four to six) scheduled field trips/year, a book discussion in January; a plant sale in May; and an annual member‐only garden walk in June. Depending on the activity, 10 to 25 members may participate in the Club’s outside activities. Club benefits by being kept abreast of horticultural issues; visiting sites and doing activities that might not be done individually. These activities build camaraderie and increase the knowledge base of members. The community benefits by the sharing of information through press releases or on Facebook. The committee meets in the summer to plan activities for the upcoming year.
This committee is responsible for coordinating the food and beverage services at our regular meetings. This includes recruiting and advising the monthly Hostess Committees (see below), setting up the coffee/tea/water service, storage of the clubs formal tablecloths, as well as monitoring and purchasing any of the supplies that EGC provides for the hostesses. The Club benefits by having well‐coordinated and executed lunches. Guests have joined after attending one of our regular meetings! Luncheons are social but also a time to exchange gardening concerns and remedies. Hospitality Committee business is addressed at the Board meetings held at the Elmhurst Public Library at 10 AM prior to the regular meeting or through e‐mail communications.
Lunch is provided at Wilder Mansion at our regular (monthly) meetings. The homemade lunches are planned, prepared, and served by our members. Each garden club member is encouraged to be a hostess for at least one month. Member contributions of food and supplies for one month’s lunch meeting allow our members to enjoy the remaining year’s lunches without cost or obligation. Each committee is made up of 10‐12 members. One member serves as head hostess. The head hostess is responsible for contacting the members of her committee and organizing the luncheon. The committee is responsible for planning the menu, bringing the food, serving the lunch and cleaning up afterwards.
December’s luncheon is traditionally a Christmas party and is usually catered. The December hostess committee is responsible for choosing a caterer, planning the menu with the caterer, and bringing desserts.
The Hospitality Chair provides each head hostess with a copy of, Guidelines for Hostesses. For more details or questions, contact Hospitality Chair.
Note: Keep lunches simple and within a reasonable budget. EGC does not make reimbursements for luncheon expenditures.
This committee is responsible for setting up the rooms for our regular meeting at Wilder Mansion and is a liaison between EGC and Elmhurst Park District (EPD), manager of Wilder Mansion. Setting up the rooms involves making a diagram showing the location and size of the tables, chairs and other equipment that will be needed. A list is created showing the number and sizes of items or equipment that are needed. Meeting set up is generally discussed at the Board meeting held on the Tuesday prior to the regular meeting; attendance at the Board meeting is beneficial. Setting up information is submitted the EPD employee who works at Wilder Mansion, on Thursday or Friday before Monday’s regular meeting. The Club benefits by having a solid working relationship with EPD. If changes to the requested room set up are needed on the day of the meeting, the chair is there early and enlists other early arrival members to assist in modifying the room.
This committee is responsible for collecting dues and membership forms. Membership forms are distributed at our regular meeting in January; dues are collected each month until March when reminders are sent to delinquent members. Note: Membership reminders are also included in the monthly newsletter from January to March. By April, the membership roster is updated and filled out for GCI. Checks are sent to the treasurer of EGC. A record of active members is maintained by the chair for her use. Contact information for new members is provided after each meeting via email to the newsletter editor, the president and membership co‐chair. General membership is informed of new member contact information in the next monthly newsletter.
The chair helps distribute membership directories at the September and October meetings, after which time they are mailed. In subsequent months the chair maintains a table and log of member attendance. She announces new members and guests at meetings.
Membership co‐chair, maintains the data history (contact information and an activity log) for each member. Note: Each committee chair is responsible for informing membership co‐chair of member names who assisted on the chair’s project. The co‐chair is responsible for printing the Membership Directory (in August) and distributing the Membership Directory (aka Yearbook in GCI terms) at the September meeting. The Club benefits by an updated and timely annual directory (contact information for members) as well as a listing of current community projects and the Club’s annual calendar of events.
This committee is responsible for accepting and compiling committee news, the monthly calendar and publishing the almost monthly newsletter (no newsletter in July and August). The Club benefits by being informed of Club activities via email or USPS. Email blasts are sent to members between monthly newsletters.
The First Vice‐President is responsible for formulating programs for the year as well as some programs that are open to the community. She works with the chairs of Conservation and Education, Horticulture, Designs and Exhibits for program suggestions. She coordinates program requirements with the chair of House and introduces the program speakers. She attends annual District II Programs Meeting for program ideas. Benefits to members and the community include the opportunity to learn about many different topics and current gardening issues. The committee meets as needed.
This committee is responsible for announcing Club meetings, special events and projects through the press and online media, including publicity for our Garden Walk and Faire in July. The community benefits by being informed about Club meetings and is invited to be our guest. The Club benefits by increasing membership and expanding community awareness and interest in the projects of the Club. Attending EGC Board and Garden Walk and Faire committee meetings are desirable to learn about project details and scope. Most communications are done through email.
Note: Committee chairs are responsible for crafting copy and providing event pictures for release to media outlets. Publicity chairs will release information to the local outlets.
Ways and Means
This committee is responsible for internal fundraising. The money raised benefits the Club by allowing the Club to offer top quality program speakers and a reduction in the cost of supplies for workshops. The community benefits in two ways: 1) Gift cards are purchased from our local merchants for the raffle baskets; 2) Merchants become aware of EGC by our support of their businesses. Ten to 15 (or more) members participate by making raffle baskets twice each year‐‐for the Annual Spring Luncheon (April) and our December Holiday Luncheon. Baskets are assembled at a member’s residence a month before the functions. Members participate by contributing items or gift cards for inclusion into raffle baskets, assist in designing and packaging raffle baskets, setting up and tearing down of table displays for raffle baskets; selling raffle tickets.
In November, the committee hosts a White Elephant and Jewelry Sale. Members assist by providing items, setting up tables, selling, and delivering unsold items to our local resale shop, The Pink Elephant.
This committee is responsible for providing a floral arrangement to a member who has lost a spouse or a close family member; or who are seriously ill or had surgery. This one‐person committee of three years was once a function of the long‐standing committee, Designs and Exhibit. This benefits members by being remembered and acknowledged during a difficult time. On average, one to three arrangements are made each month.
This two person committee, started in 2015, is responsible for posting activities of EGC. News and notes of committee projects/activities and pictures are submitted by email. Our Club and community benefits by being kept apprised of Club projects, other affiliate clubs’ activities, and community public affairs as they relate to EGC. Educational information on landscape design, environment, and horticulture are provided. Members share the Club’s contents with their friends.
This committee is appointed by the President, meets in April, after the end of the fiscal year (March 31st). The Treasurer, part of the Finance Committee, and manager of the Club’s finances and checkbook, prepares a budget for the next fiscal year; she presents it to the Finance Committee. After the Finance Committee approves the budget, the Treasurer presents the budget to the Board for approval and then to membership; it is published in the newsletter.
Garden Walk and Faire
The chair is responsible for coordinating the management of the Garden Walk and Faire, the Club’s primary fundraiser, from start to finish. This position is appointed by the President, approved by the Board and is a voting member of the Board. The Garden Walk and Faire committee determines, with Board approval, who receives funds, how much is awarded, when and how the gift will be presented. She provides the Treasurer with records of all receipts and expenditures for a Garden Walk and Faire and acts as liaison to the Elmhurst Park District in relation to the Garden Walk and Faire.
About 25 members participate on the 14 sub‐committees of the Garden Walk and Faire. Sub‐committee chairs may recruit other members to help fulfill their responsibilities. Further information on the breakdown of the committees may be seen in An Afternoon in the Garden, Garden Guide, July 10, 2016. On average, 700 people visit the selected, private gardens on this day.
This project benefits IL scholars majoring in fields of horticulture, landscape architecture, botany and environmental studies; environmental or biological experiential scholarships are also available to students at York Community High School. (For more information, see Scholarship listed below.)
This benefits the community by providing funding to Elmhurst College Arboretum for horticultural development and maintenance; Ray Graham Community Learning Center for improving landscape and gardens; York Community High School to support a specific need for either improving or maintaining courtyard gardens; Elmhurst Public Library for holiday decorating; Elmhurst Park District and YMCA for scholarships to attend summer camp programs; and provides the opportunity for residents to see beautifully landscaped gardens in their home town.
Garden visitors see EGC members working at each of the selected private homes on the Garden Walk. Visitors at the Faire see project display boards and meet additional Club members. The committee meets at the Elmhurst Public Library at 10 AM on selected dates from February to August.
This committee is responsible for informing colleges of our scholarship availability each spring. Additionally, scholarship information is posted on the Club’s website where the application may be downloaded. This seven person committee reviews applicants and selects recipients. The scholars are notified after the May 1 deadline. Each committee member chooses a scholar and follows that scholar throughout the year. Traditionally, scholars provide a short presentation at our March regular meeting, aka, “The Scholars’ Luncheon.” Available funds are determined from the amount of proceeds obtained from the previous year’s Garden Walk and Faire. To date, the Elmhurst Garden Club has provided more than $100,000 in scholarships. The committee meets on an as needed basis.
Scholars benefit by receiving a monetary award for their schooling; the Club benefits by learning of the student’s research or academic endeavors; the community benefits by the opportunity to view, on our local cable channel, the scholars’ presentations of their research and involvement in sustaining the environment. Sponsoring businesses benefit by being recognized in our booklet, An Afternoon in the Park, Garden Guide produced annually for our Garden Walk and Faire.
The Elmhurst Garden Club is part of a nation‐wide collaborative effort by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) and the National Wildlife Foundation as well as Garden Clubs of Illinois (GCI) and locally, the DuPage Monarch Project working to protect pollinators (bees, butterflies and hummingbirds) across Mexico, Canada and the United States.
Through our pledge with the National Wildlife Foundation we are committed to raise awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly and the species’ need for habitat. More information on the actions completed, and ones to be done, may be seen on the public side of our website. Click on, Monarch Initiative.
This committee is selected in September and is composed of three Board members and two members at large. The chair may be the immediate past president, appointed, or evolve within the committee. The committee meets either at Elmhurst Public Library or at a member’s home. They review the positions, consider candidates to fill those positions, and contact prospective nominees. The list of calls to be made is divided up and communication updates are done through emails/phone/personal contact.
The committee presents the slate of officers to the Board by the December meeting for Board approval. The slate is posted in the Newsletter and voted upon by membership at the regular January meeting. Individuals must consent to be on the ballot. Elections take place at the regular meeting in January with installation at our Annual Meeting in April. Officers and Chairs of Standing Committees, except Treasurer and Garden Walk Chair, serve through the conclusion of the Annual Meeting. The Club benefits by an easy transfer of leadership. This leadership transfer often brings fresh, new ideas and perspectives.
Garden Project of Ray Graham Community Learning Center
This eight to 12 person committee, in its second year, has set a goal to 1) beautify the campus of Ray Graham Learning Center in and around the greenhouse and 2) to promote greater appreciation, and use of the outdoors by the clients and staff. A butterfly garden was planted with plants donated by a member of garden club. Vegetable and shade gardens are also planted. Committee members plant and maintain the gardens. The Ray Graham Community Learning Center benefits by an improved campus appearance; improved relationships with their neighbors as a result of a better maintained campus; increased and intentional outings to the outside by clients and staff to visit the gardens; client participation at special events hosted in the campus gardens; client education on cultivation and maintenance of plantings. The Club benefits by building bridges with the Ray Graham Learning Center, as well as with other civic organizations (Crestview Garden Club ‐‐signage; two local Eagle Scouts and another high school student‐‐to build outdoor furniture and raised planting beds). The committee is creating a community wide awareness to the funding shortfalls and needs of the Ray Graham Association. Club members participate by sharing their time to beautify the campus, and talents, which may include purchasing needed items with their own money, for the Ray Graham Association. One member, a landscaper designer, along with her associates, created an entire campus design for the committee, au gratis. Special events are held to raise funds for planting costs. Meetings are held once/month or every six weeks, during the year as needed. In summer, work meetings are held more often and workloads may be completed at a member’s convenience.
York Community High School Garden Club
This committee is entering its third project year. EGC became involved upon the request of Mr. Bendelow, the school’s primary garden club advisor. (Mrs. Lauren Yun is secondary advisor.) The committee serves as consultants/mentors to the school’s garden club, a Junior Club of EGC. The school benefits by the receipt of a grant ($2000 from Whole Kids Foundation) written by a Club member; this same Club member wrote a press release regarding the award. The press release was seen by a local company who was looking for a company‐wide, community service project. This company contacted National Gardening Association (NGA), where a grant had also been submitted, but was rejected. As a result of ensuing discussions with NGA, Mr. Bendelow, and the local company, the scope of the project was expanded. The company committed to providing manpower and financial assistance for the project.
The local company provided manpower (approximately 100 people) and donated supplies for the courtyard. In addition, the well‐thought out campus courtyard was designed au gratis, by a member of EGC. On August 8, 2015, the courtyard design and campus beautification was initiated and largely completed. Twenty‐five members of EGC joined in the day’s work. In one day, the inside courtyard was turned from a pebble pit‐‐desolation‐‐into a place of destination.
The courtyard has multiple, raised, and tiered vegetable beds; and multiple circular plantings of sensory, native and pollinator plantings. The entire space is visible from three glass corridors. Leopold benches are available for moveable seating and outdoor classroom space is available. Shade and butterfly plantings were planted in adjacent areas; the number of available raised beds was doubled in the initial gardening area. The community benefits by seeing a beautiful and inviting courtyard that is highly functional as an outdoor classroom, study or dining area, and could be available for community functions. The committee meets with York’s garden club every Wednesday afternoon at 3:20 pm, in the courtyard, weather permitting. During inclement weather, the school’s garden club meets in Ms. Yun’s classroom (A373). York’s garden club also meets on selected Saturday mornings from March to November between 9:00 to 11:30 am. Other Club members participate as their schedules permit or as needed. During the summer of 2016, nine “aqua angels” swam to the gardens each week to serve water to thirsty gardens.
Vice‐Treasurer/Garden Walk Financial Secretary
This committee of one, created in 2014, is a spin‐off from the long‐standing Treasurer position. She is responsible for maintaining Garden Walk books of accounts accurately. The Club benefits by having a single individual completely devoted to maintaining the financial records for the Garden Walk and Faire.