"I have an idea!" declared Sandy Stern to Sharon Jaunsem, as they popped into the car leaving a State Garden Club meeting in Columbia, SC. The two friends and members of The Avid Gardeners (TAG) of Hilton Head Plantation talked excitedly. Sharon rapidly took notes as the creativeness bubbled from Sandy. "Let's not even go home," offered Sandy. "Let's drive to the hospital now and take a look for potential planting areas!"
From that July conversation the "Plant It Pink" project sprouted wings!
Sandy and Sharon found the perfect area across from the main Hilton
Head Hospital entrance for the home of the Breast Cancer Awareness
ribbon - a fl oral design planted by The Avid Gardeners. "We ran smack
into a road block...no irrigation system, but we maneuvered around it,"
declared Sandy. "The Hospital graciously agreed to install a system to
maintain our garden, requiring many hours of planning and help."
Before completed, the garden captured more than 100 hours of TAG members' time. Sharon and Sandy jumped into action and presented the project to community businesses, asking their assistance
to bring it to fruition. "Since it is designed to raise awareness and stimulate prevention of breast cancer, businesses opened their arms to us," said Sandy.
"Do whatever you want," declared The Greenery owner, Lee Edwards, after Amy Spadafora gave him details about TAG's "Plant it Pink" project. "We are hit five to ten times a week for donations, but after all we are in the business of beautifying! This endeavor touches everyone, as so many of us have lost loved ones and friends with some form of Cancer," said Amy. "We are happy to provide the fl owers on a seasonal basis, since a pretty garden is a very special way to remember people and an excellent way to be involved in our community."
Lowes' Manager, Anthony Watts, smiled when asked why he chose to
help this particular organization. "For both personal and business reasons,
I feel this awareness project is very important, and.Sandy and Sharon
were so wonderful with their presentation, I had to reward them!" Lowes
generously provided 100 six-inch pots, a dozen cans of pink spray paint,
all the edging needed, plus, 25 bags of mulch.
"When we started on the spot chosen, we stumbled again, as the area was
not level," recalled Sharon. "Don't know what we'd do without The ourtyard which gave us six yards of topsoil. George Westerfi eld not only brought a truckload of soil, he tilled it and the other that was delivered. It took quite a bit more than we realized. George is also carving a wooden sign for us to
place in the garden... "Created by The Avid Gardeners 2010".
According to Patti Peacock, the longest active TAG member (22 years), "It's not only the creative minds and friendships in the club, it's an extraordinarily giving and welcoming group, which contributes actively to our community. In all my years in the club, I never met anyone I didn't like. I love being involved and chairing our flower shows, four of which won national awards!"
On Labor Day, I found Sandy and Sharon laboring away on the "Plant
It Pink" project in partnership between the National Garden Club and the
Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Not surprisingly, the two greeted
this warm, humid day with all the energy and enthusiasm imaginable.
This type of energy has rewarded the club members with many state and
national awards. The General Davis Island on Whooping Crane being one
among many of their "wow!" creations and award winners. Another gigantic
undertaking was the Dolphin Head Beach area, complete with Nature Signs, map and landscaping. Entering the gates, beautiful hanging baskets greet residents and visitors, and during the Christmas Season, TAG decorates in each of the Hilton Head Plantation neighborhoods. "Dottie Doyle created gorgeous note cards to help in our fund-raising, and they can be purchased through TAG and at Pyramids Shop on Main Street," said Sharon.
On Dedication Day, September 16, Dr. Virginia Herrmann, Medical
Director of Breast Health for Hilton Head Hospital, greeted everyone who
gathered to view TAG's amazing handiwork-all pink fl owers in the shape of the Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon. Attendees enjoyed pink lemonade and scrumptious cupcakes created especially for the occasion by Leslie Rohland, owner of The Cottage in Bluffton. "I have a spiritual sister who has battled cancer from a very young age. Education and awareness are paramount," said Leslie. TAG president, Sharon Jaunsem is amazed and touched by "so many community businesses continuously assisting us in our many projects!" "Plant It Pink" is a stunning and poignant reminder to all of us.