Co-Presidents' Annual Report
A warm welcome to 2021. It looks like there is light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, however, it will still be a shaky start to the year and our programming will continue to be impacted until the full roll-out of a vaccine. We are, however, hopeful that come the Fall we will be able to meet in person once again.
We started 2020 strong with a good turnout for the AGM and part of our official business was to formally welcome our Board members Ramona de Cunha and Richard Monks as well as Margaret Monks who took on the role of Secretary, all joined at the start of 2019. We also started the 2020 year with two new additions to the board both from Applewood. MJ Kucerak has joined us as a director and Diane Rogers has stepped into the role of Treasurer. JoAnn Drennan who was our treasurer for the past 12 years continues on the Board. We started 2020 in a place of strength and with new ideas and welcomed skills and interests – which were greatly relied upon this year. In May, and well into the pandemic, we also welcomed Teresa Ierullo to the Board and she has recently taken over the speaker programming for 2021. The strength of the current Board is the primary reason that we have been able to continue to function successfully under the current circumstances and Patricia, Christine and Regina are grateful for the support.
The pandemic’s impact meant that many of our club activities and fundraisers were not able to proceed this year. The two biggest events were the Plant Sale and Mississauga Garden Festival. These were blows both financially and to the Club’s morale. Thankfully, we came into this year having had such tremendous past leadership and thus, in a very strong financial position from past successes, it allowed us to weather this year financially, so much so, that the Board decided to continue to support The Compass, Riverwood Conservancy’s Teen education program and Blooming Boulevards with donations of $500 each this year.
We were able to hold 6 meetings, one live in February and 5 virtual meetings in May, June, September, October and November. Even though both presenters and our membership were all on a sharp learning curve with the Zoom online video platform – everyone tackled it head on and we have had outstanding presentations for the year and increasing acceptance and participation from our members.
Many of our club members also engaged over the growing season by sharing their garden photos in our Virtual Flower Show that moved online. It was wonderful to be inspired by so many gardens and to see many of these plants in situ!
With the help of Blooming Boulevards and Jeanne McRight, we were able to bring you a premium this year in the form of native seeds – Pale Purple Coneflower and the Lanceleaf Coreopsis. These were mailed out in the Fall and hopefully you all have made use of them – either planting them in the Fall, sharing them with friends or currently being stratified in your refrigerator waiting for a spring planting!
We are optimistic that 2021 will unfold slowly towards a move back to our normal rhythms for the club.
Christine Fry, Patricia Griesser and Regina Gudelis