Committee Descriptions

Club Relations

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.

Conservation and Education

This committee promotes and reports on conservation and environmental issues. The committee provides informational articles to members and organizes field trips, book discussions, and films. The committee facilitates participation in EGC, CGI, and NGC initiatives and can initiate a Club project (such as recycling). Club and community benefit by learning about environmental, conservation, sustainability, and 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 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 taking 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).  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.

Garden Therapy

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.

Herb Garden

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.

Historian

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.

Horticulture

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.

Hospitality

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.   They send and collate the RSVP’s for the upcoming luncheon each month as well.   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.

Hostess

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.

House

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.

Membership

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.

Newsletter

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.

Programs/First Vice‐President

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 Programs Chair also organizes the Annual Spring Luncheon.

Publicity

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.

Website

This committee is responsible for maintaining Club information on the Club’s website and Facebook page and e-blasts and any other electronic communication deemed appropriate.  The chair coordinates the updates with the Board and committee chairs. This benefits the Club and community by serving as a valuable resource. Visitors to the website learn that we are an active, committed and vibrant organization. Information on our annual Garden Walk and Faire and Scholarship are included along with the club calendar and other information. The Members‐Only section includes member pictures, bylaws, standing rules, and stationary template.  Meetings are called if needed.

Special Committees

E-Communications

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.

Finance

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 Elmhurst Garden Walk and Faire (GW) is an eagerly anticipated regional summer event attended by hundreds of gardening enthusiasts. It is our largest fundraiser.

The Garden Walk and Faire committee, under the direction of its chair, plans and executes the event held the second Sunday in July. The committee meets, as needed, leading up to and after the GW as a committee of the whole. GW committees may also meet separately.

The GW features unique, inspirational and noteworthy private gardens and may include a public garden(s) of interest. It features the popular garden related Faire (Boutique) in Wilder Park, attracting 40+ vendors each year. Ticket holders to the gardens receive a Garden Walk Guidebook with a map to gardens and garden descriptions, written and illustrated by EGC members. It is subsided by ads and donations.

The GW is chaired by a member(s) appointed by the EGC president. The chair overseas committees and the execution of the event. The chair also represents the GW to other organizations in Elmhurst. The EGC President and Treasurer also attend committee meetings which are determined by the chair. GW committees include: advertising/sponsorship, electronic displays, boutique/vendors, garden descriptions, garden selections, graphics/illustrations, garden hospitality, park district liaison, publicity, scholarship, signage, tickets, and others as needed.

Proceeds from the GW benefit scholarships to Illinois residents majoring in horticulture, botanical, environmental and related fields of study. (See Scholarship Committee for further information.) Local beneficiaries include Elmhurst Park District summer camps, Elmhurst Public Library, Ray Graham Community Learning Center, York High School gardens, and Elmhurst College Arboretum.

 

Scholarship

It is the responsibility of the Scholarship Committee to administer the awarding of two annual scholarships, (1) the York High School Summer Exploratory/Experiential Scholarship and (2) the College/University Scholarship. This includes annual revisions and dissemination of the publicity flyer and applications for both scholarships, reception of student applications online and by mail, selection of student scholarship winners, communication with scholars throughout the year but especially immediately preceding and in preparation for the annual Meet the Scholars Lunch and Program at the March Garden Club Meeting. The Scholarship Committee consists of seven Garden Club members. The Chair works with the Club Treasurer in July to send the scholarship awards to the Financial Aid Offices of the winning students. Instituted in 1999 the scholarships are funded by proceeds from the annual Elmhurst Garden Walk & Faire. Since 1999, 92 scholarships, more than $165,000, has been awarded to 72 scholars.

Nominating Committee

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 committee began its work in 2014 to improve the back yard space for the clients who attend this learning center to enjoy and learn in a safe, peaceful and accessible environment.  The committee has developed community awareness of the center’s needs and over time have spearheaded fundraising efforts and donations of goods and services for this beautification project.  Four cedar picnic tables, 12 custom chairs, 4 raised planter beds,  weber grill, and a large patio and walkway now grace the back yard.  Many old trees were removed, new plantings and even water remediation projects have taken place as well as the installation of a lush butterfly garden.  The clients enjoy the space for horticultural activities as well as reading time, lunchtime and parties.  The committee has also brought new plantings to the front and side yards as well.  This wonderful partnership with Ray Graham continues to grow with each year in creative and helpful ways.

York Community High School Garden Club

Committee members serve as consultants/mentors York Garden Club, a Junior Club of EGC. Our role is to support the school staff. We do this by creating ideas throughout the year on a multitude of subjects; these include perennial plant care, growing vegetables, weeding, harvesting, design principles, forcing bulbs, houseplant propagation, floral design, field trips, holiday events, fundraising, and advertising York Garden Club to the student population.

During the school year we meet after school weekly at 3:20 pm on Wednesdays for an hour. If weather permits, we meet in the Senior (Interior) Courtyard; during inclement weather, we meet in room A373.  During the summer months the scheduled time changes to align with the summer school schedule. In spring and fall, when gardening tasks increase, we periodically have ‘work days’ outside of the normal schedule. These are determined on a special needs basis.