Seventy years young

In 1949, 12 very determined ladies set out to promote beautification in Decatur. Seventy years later, with 34 active members and 10 associate members, the Trowelers Garden Club is still determined and working diligently to beautify Decatur.

Wednesday, members and guests attended their 70th birthday celebration at Burningtree Country Club. Hostesses for the event were Margaret Wenzler, Susan Watson and Kathy Clay. These ladies captured the essence of the day with fresh pastel flowers in mint julep cups, adorning the linen topped tables complete with pale pink linen napkins. A delectable pale pink tiered birthday cake took center stage. A slide show made from photographs from the club scrapbooks played during the event and everyone reminisced. While the members might have changed, the focus has never been stronger; beautifying Decatur and enlightening others regarding plants, planting, horticulture and the art of beautification.

The meeting was called to order by outgoing President Melanie Peters who welcomed members and guests. Weety Vickery read from Psalm 19. Following the prayer, everyone feasted on a lunch of mixed greens, steamed vegetables, grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes, beef medallions and grilled chicken.

Mayor Tab Bowling was on hand to celebrate with the club members and spoke regarding the improvements that have been made within our city by the Trowelers. He cited their current and ongoing projects including Delano Park, Frazier Park, the downtown Pocket Park, improvements with the Baker Foundation and, more recently, the Gold Star Memorial at the Train Depot. In addition, they provide funding for such projects as Every Light a Prayer for Peace — Downtown Decatur Open House Tree Lighting, landscaping at Lafayette Cemetery, Decatur Dog Park construction and Walter Jackson Elementary School’s Native Plants Garden.

Peters recognized long-term members in attendance, June Odom with 43 years, Margaret Wenzler with 23 years and Lois House with 20 years.

Peters thanked her committee chairs: Debbie Froscello and the Habitat for Humanity garden kits; Mandy Sample and the Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl committee; Teresa Culbert and the awards committee; Martha Freeman and the programs committee; Linda Boyd and the projects committee; June Odom and the horticulture committee; Eloise Grubbs and the garden therapy committee; and the Christmas auction committee and chairs Sherrie Paler, Connie Torbert and Martha Freeman. She also thanked her officers, Sherrie Paler, Beth Roberts, Susan Watson, Vicki Dukes and Linda Boyd.

Teresa Culbert installed the new club officers: Linda Boyd as club parliamentarian, Becky House as corresponding secretary, Beth Wallace as treasurer, Mandy Sample as vice president and Sherrie Paler as president.

On behalf of the club, Paler presented Peters with a Lifetime State Trowelers Membership and a gift.

Other members in attendance included Alison Burnthall, Tina Hardy, Kristi Hill, Debbie House, Virginia Briscoe, Lisa Jones, Geri Knable, Linda Livingston, Anne Cook Price, Vivian Pylant, Leesa Ray, Kelly Thomas, Linda Thomas, Leslie Weaver, Renee Wenzler, Barbara Inscho, Gayle Metcalf and Sedama Poole. First lady of Rotary International Gay Maloney was an honored guest at the event.

Celebrating 100

Dilsie M. Garth Williams celebrated her 100th birthday with more than 50 family and friends at a cookout last Sunday. Williams, a lifelong Decatur resident, was born April 30, 1919, to Civil War soldier Pvt. Garland Garth. Known to many as “Moma Dilsie,” Williams enjoys working with her flowers and sitting on the porch, soaking up the sun. She has lived to see five generations in her family.

Jazz Under the Stars

The Calhoun Foundation presented Jazz Under the Stars on April 25 at the Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur. The evening began with a reception at the Visual Art Center followed by a New Orleans style buffet at the Center for Performing Arts. This event raised over $22,000 for scholarships for students attending Calhoun Community College and sponsored the free concert featuring Sean Nowell and the Calhoun Chorale and Jazz Band.

Calhoun President Joe Burke said, “We will have to move the event to a larger arena next year due to the community support and sellout crowds.”

Members of the Calhoun Foundation Board of Directors include state Sen. Tom Butler, Joe Campbell, Rex Cheatham, Floyd Cook, Dan David, Tracy Doughty, Gail Green Holbert, Jeff Irons, Kin Copeland, Kim Lewis, state Sen. Steve Livingston, Stan McDonald, state Sen. Arthur Orr, Jeanne Payne, John Plunk, Evans Quinlivan, Stephen Raby, Mary Ann Scott, Clint Shelton, Barrett C. Shelton, Jimmy D. Smith, Jimmy Ray Smith, Loretta Spencer, Wally Terry, Glynn Tubb, Mike Underwood, Anita Walden and Russ Wilson.

Classical Thursdays

Springtime in downtown Decatur brings about something exciting to the area this year. Each Thursday during the month of May, Decatur Youth Symphony ensembles will perform at 6 p.m. at Bank and Lafayette streets. Come celebrate springtime in Decatur.

— Freelance columnist Wendy Lang writes Chatterbox. Send news and high resolution photos to
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