Kudos For Helen!
The following article is a press release that Dianna prepared for the local newspapers. Helen was honored at our Annual Plant Auction this year for her years of service and good deeds for the club.
Celebrating forty years, whether a marriage, a business or an organization, is noteworthy. Exeter Area Garden Club is just such an organization. Founded in 1972, members have served their communities well. One in particular stands out; Helen Gallant, of Stratham. Helen has been a vital and active member since 1973, a year after the clubs beginning. In the early 1970’s, with about 20 members strong, they worked hard at visually improving locations around Exeter, like the nursing home, hospital, library (now the Historical Society) and the bandstand. Helen was the chairman of the bandstand project for many years and still works on it when it comes time to plant and do fall clean-up or take her turn at a week of weeding. When asked about her most interesting and enjoyable project she quickly mentioned the Christmas Home Tour. The members decorated some of Exeter’s lovely homes for the holiday’s, served wonderful desserts, charged admission and were blessed with cooperating weather and a good turnout. She remembers it as one of their best fund raisers.
Although Helen was very busy with Garden Club, serving as president in 1986/87, she was first and foremost, Mom, to her three children. Now grown, with interesting and busy lives of their own, she enjoys her four grandchildren, finding them a joy and quite helpful. Helen’s other interests are playing bridge and working in her own beautiful and expansive flower gardens.
The clubs current membership of 60 has impressed Helen with their gardening knowledge, interesting programs and helpful attitude. Sharing ideas has been fun and everyone benefits. She is enjoying the events of the Promise Tree, a new addition to the club which has proven very successful, promoting interests, friendships and fun events.
Over the years club membership grew to include surrounding communities. They continue to maintain the Exeter Bandstand, Veteran’s Memorial at Stratham Hill Park, offer scholarships to SST or UNH, this year dispensed six mini-grants, who’s recipients will continue improving our local communities. Helen is very proud to be a founding member of this organization.
In honor of Helen’s thirty nine years as an active member of the Exeter Area Garden Club, her children were invited to the annual luncheon and plant auction at the Portsmouth Country Club where the members surprised her with a pendant of the Exeter Bandstand and honored her many contributions and friendship over almost 40 years.
Helen is a truly valued member of the garden club… we are lucky to have her.
Written by Dianna Thompson