Harbor Island’s garden club leading ladies toast to beautification

by Shannon Rae Gentry
Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Staff photos by Allison Potter 

 Outgoing president Alison Long, kneeling, passes on the light of the presidency to Elise Running during the Harbor Island Garden Club’s annual spring luncheon on Friday, May 10 at the Holiday Inn Resort.


Alison Long completed her second consecutive term as the Harbor Island Garden Club president at the club’s annual awards luncheon last Friday, May 10 at the Wrightsville Beach Holiday Inn. 

The Lumina Room was lined with beach and garden themed decorations, raffle prizes and flower centerpieces handmade by members, as well as about a dozen awards received at the 2013 State Garden Club Convention held in Wilmington in April, including the state award for publicity.

“We did great this year. We’re a small club in comparison to a lot of big ones around, so this is a real honor that we were awarded so many,” Long said in an interview at the luncheon.

It’s hard to say how many personal hours she has volunteered while serving as president for two years, but Long said she was determined to make them count for the community and the club’s mission.

“Every president usually has a project, and mine was the rainwater harvesting children’s fountain [at Harbor Way Gardens] and I wanted to see it through to fruition … I’m sure it was a lot more hours than what was expected of me, but I wanted to make sure we did a good job with the fountain,” she said.

Elise Running is returning as president since her first term almost two decades ago, and said she is excited to revisit the position on the board with other seasoned members.

“I hope to goodness I’m older and wiser,” Running joked. “I hadn’t really lived on the beach that long the first time I was president and now, I’ve lived there for 25 years. I just feel like I know the community a whole lot better than I did,” she said.

In addition to announcing Running as this year’s president, six new members of the club were welcomed. The induction of first vice president Dot Balkcum and recording secretary Georgia Sanders also took place.

Returning members of the board include: second vice president Shelia McCuiston, third vice president Delaine Ferrell, and fourth vice presidents Anne Pleasants, Eva Elmore and Kim Watters, and treasurer Lucy Gee. Recording secretary is Pam Carroll, Connie Baker at Harbor Way Gardens and Rene Wheat as register. 

Along with the installation of new and returning officers the HIGC awards were announced, with the horticulture award going to Leigh Kelly, the flower-arranging award to Patti Jacauruso, and Woman of the Year to Cindy Jupp.

With her background in market research, Jupp has excelled in publicity and public relations for the HIGC. Long said she selected Jupp for the award, which has been given since 1986, because she went above and beyond the call of duty, including organizing this year’s luncheon.

“She was my go-to person this year and it was an easy decision,” Long said.

Jupp has been a member of the garden club since 2007 and said she was surprised by the acknowledgment and never expected an award for what occurs naturally in her work.

“Pretty much anything I get involved with, I just want to make sure it ends up being as well done as it can possibly be, and when you’re representing an organization, you need to have that in mind,” she said. “It’s quite an honor to be included in this group of women … we all have the same goal of beautifying and improving Wrightsville Beach and Harbor Way Gardens, and it’s really been a pleasure to be a part of it.”

email shannon@luminanews.com


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