Message from GCG president

Dear GCG Members,
What a year this has been. We sincerely hope you and your family members have maintained good health.  Surely we are all anxiously happy to put 2020 behind us and start 2021 with the hope of much better things to come. Despite COVID,  many of our clubs have accomplished amazing projects in 2020 and resumed meetings either via Zoom type platforms, in outside areas [weather permitting], in smaller groups for projects, or inside in larger rooms allowing for social distancing.  We commend your ability to think outside the box and continue to do great things in your communities. Garden Clubbers are a fantastic determined group of people.

We had to make the decision to cancel the April GCG Convention in Valdosta. There is still too much uncertainty regarding the virus,  vaccines and projected attendance. We contemplated postponing the event for several months,  but that would have incurred higher penalties if we then had to cancel. We are frugal stewards of your dues money and decided it was not worth the risk.

However, rest assured that your Awards Committee has been hard at work.  All the judging for awards applications rec'd by Dec. 1st has been done. It was truly amazing to see the many projects that have been accomplished during this challenging year. Kudos to all of you. Winning entries have been forwarded to Deep South and National. The Awards Committee will be thinking of creative ways to announce our State, Region and National Winners.
The Business aspects of GCG continues. All the Districts have elected their officers for the 2021-23 term. The GCG Nominating Committee has established a slate for the new term,  and those names will be announced at the Winter Board Meeting in January. We will hold an election of GCG officers in the spring - via email  (each club gets one vote, as well as each GCG Board Member), and then an installation of GCG officers at HQ in Athens.  UGA rules during COVID limit attendees to 50 people in our Terrace Room, so this installation event will be by invitation. There may be other business matters handled by email voting, so stay tuned for further developments.
Bonnie will return to HQ after the Holiday vacation. She will be sending out the form for the Club President's Annual Report 2020 [due Feb 15th presidentsreport.pdf (uga.edu) ]  and club renewal & dues forms [due March 4th] We hope all clubs will be able to meet in some fashion over the next months -  meeting outside is a bit more difficult during chilly winter weather. Please find a way to keep in contact with one another. We will be sharing more ideas  on virtual gatherings.
The official dedication of the Porcelain Museum and the Center for Art & Nature complex at the State Botanical Garden will be held in January - hosted by UGA/SBG. However,  GCG and Deen Day Sanders wish to extend a special thank you all the clubs who donated to the C. Burke Day Walkway fund. When everything is in bloom, we hope to host a separate reception  for those GCG members at our HQ -  including a tour of the Museum.  Whether that will be in late March/early April  [several smaller groups due to COVID rules]  or in the Fall [hopefully larger group for one big event]  has yet to be decided.
The Scholarship Committee will meet the end of February to finalize the scholarship awards. Thank you for your generosity.  Remember,  January is  Scholarship month.  "Dollars Educate Scholars"  is a request for donations to the scholarship program.  Since we no longer sell the calendar,  this is one way for our members to make individual contributions. We ask that members give several dollars to their club treasurer and then the club write one check to GCG. Your club gets credit on the annual Club President's report.  
Click here for the form:  dollars.pdf (uga.edu)
Of course,  larger donations are always welcome -  Named scholarships for $1000 or more,   or  Patron of Scholarship for $200  See the scholarship page on the GCG Website for forms.     gardenclub.uga.edu/scholarships.html  The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. | Grants and Scholarships (uga.edu)
Kudos again to all of you who enrolled Subscribing Members   ($25 annual dues for friends/family members or someone you wished to honor.)  We reached our 2020 goal of maintaining more than 10K in membership and therefore we will receive two   $4000 scholarships from National. The competition for the District and Club with the highest percentage of Subscribing Members is still ongoing.  Winners will be announced this spring during  'Virtual Convention' activities. Any subscribing member enrolled in Jan and Feb will count toward the spring competition and for the 2021 membership drive.  subscribingmem.pdf (uga.edu) 
Please continue to send articles and photos to Victoria Chandler for Garden Gateways.   Jan 15th is deadline for the spring issue. Send to "Victoria Chandler" <risingstar@ellijay.com>  I know of two clubs who received $1000 Plant America Grants from NGC. If your club has been notified,  please let me know -  we wish to highlight your project.
Wishing you all a very  Happy New Year  and continued success in your garden club activities. Love to hear from each of you.

Barbara Bourque, President

The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc.
Below is a little bonsai apple tree that produced a full size apple. What an inspiration to us all.  Even small clubs or small groups of individuals can accomplish a lot. Wishing you all the best in 2021.