6pm, Thursday, November 17, 2016

Doors opened at 5:30pm and a festival Christmas hall welcomed members and families to our Annual Christmas Potluck Celebration and General Meeting. Penny Sale tickets were available for early Christmas shoppers with over 50 generous donations from local businesses. Early memberships for 2017 were also on sale. 20 new memberships were sold. Food donations were received for the Salvation Army Food Drive. Photos were received and posted for the 4 Season Garden Photo Contest. 101 people signed in.

President Debbie Thomas opened our evening with a warm greeting to all. Following the singing of  “O Canada,” Geoff and Mary Lou Johnston sang a Latin hymn as grace for our meal. Everyone contributed to a delicious spread of potluck foods.

After a hearty meal and conversation with friends, none other than Jolly ‘Ole Saint Nicholas dropped by to join our festivities. We moved into the business part of our gathering. Over 25 service pins were given out for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, and 25 years of continuous service. Betty Ballanger joined the ranks of becoming our Society’s 4th Life Member with 21 years continuous service. Congratulations, Betty!

Our Junior Gardeners were recognized for their participation and hard work, especially during a very dry summer growing season. Margaret Bottrell presented the awards: Ist place gardens to Landon, Christina and Aiden Lucas. 2nd place gardens to Brennen and Ethan Dorland, Jennessa & Braden Melick. 3rd place gardens to Bralyn Schweyer. Honorable mention was given to Alicia Staving and Amiliana Sullivan. Congratulations to our young gardeners and thanks to their supportive parents. A special thank you and acknowledgment was expressed to Margaret Bottrell who ran the Junior Gardeners program by herself, after the unexpected death of her dear friend and long time DHS member, Judy Jeffery.Thank you, Margaret for your commitment to our Junior Gardening program.

Secretary Sandi Marr presented the November 2015 AGM Minutes and asked for a motion to accept. Motion made by Wray McLean and seconded by Mary Lou Johnston. Carried.

Treasurer Kim Christoff reviewed the Financial Report for 2016. Thanks was expressed to Lorraine Stevens and Joan King for their financial review. Motion made to pass the Financial Report and to accept Lorraine Stevens and Joan King as financial reviewers for 2017: Wray McLean and seconded by Margaret Bottrell. Carried.

Debbie Thomas reviewed our very successful year with thanks to each person who contributed to DHS in a unique way. Our membership is large and strong. We have enjoyed outstanding monthly programs and many events throughout the year. Our volunteers work hard to keep our town beds beautiful. We receive many words of appreciation about the care we give to town gardens. Together we keep our society strong as we move ahead into the future. Our biggest project in 2017 will be the rehabilitation of the Centennial Park Fountain.

The 2016 Directors were recognized for their service and leadership. Farewells and appreciation were expressed to those leaving: Sue Mazi, Pauline Bradford and Ian Steel. Thank you to Sue, Pauline and Ian for significant contributions made. New directors were welcomed and introduced: Rob Marr, Denise Richardson, Petra Kruis-Daly. OHA District 9 official Lisa DeYoung swore in the new and incumbent Executive and Directors for 2017: Debbie Thomas (President), (in absence) Deb Zynomirski (Vice-president), Sandi Marr (Secretary), Kim Christoff (Treasurer) and 2017 Directors: Betty Ballanger, Gloria Hunter, Mary Lou Johnston, Marilyn Stavinga, Margaret Bottrell, Wray McLean, Rob Marr, Denise Richardson, Petra Kruis-Daly. We look forward to moving ahead with energy and vision.

Debbie Thomas made a motion to approve the actions of DHS since the last AGM. Seconded: Barbara Whyte. Carried. Debbie Thomas made a motion to approve the actions and decisions of the Executive Officers since the last AGM: Seconded: Marilyn Stavinga. Carried.

The 4 Seasons Garden Photography Contest winners were announced and honoured with gift certificates from Hausers Pharmacy. Summer: Mary Fretz. Fall: Mary Lou Johnston. Spring: Sandi Marr. Winter: Miranda Bucsis. Thanks to Gloria Hunter and Ian Steel for organizing this contest and to all who shared their love for gardening and photography.

Our 2016 DHS Survey Winner was announced: Mary Fretz. Thanks to all who completed the survey in October and offered helpful feedback to the Board of Directors.

Guest Speaker, Gary Cartlidge, Marketing & New Product Development Manager from Armstrong Milling was introduced. Gary spoke about understanding the wild bird seasons and how to optimize visits with the right food at the right time. Everyone was given goodies bags filled with information, gift certificates, suet, and bird seed. DHS members will be keeping the birds fed well this winter. Special thanks to Minor Brothers, Grand Home Hardware and Armstrong Milling for making this possible.

Penny Sale Winners were announced: Kim Dickie (5), Betty Clark, Sam Visser (4), Darlene Bucsis (2), Donna Cavers, Lauran (3), Mike Draaster, Cheryl Brown, Rose Marie, Marg Visser (3), Ellen Guenther (2), Bozak, Virginia S, Jenessa Melick, Dorothy Minor, Nellie Elgersma (3), Wray McLean (2), Denise Richardson, Rose Allen, Dorothy Minor, Joan King, Bruce Nevills, Claire Dvaastie, Marlene Link (2), Marie Boch, Steve Elgersma, Olga Nevills, Sharon Sykes, Maryanne Bruekleman, Debbie Thomas, Bev McLean. $380. was raised from Penny Sale tickets.

Our generous sponsors for Penny Sale donations were acknowledged. Everyone was encouraged to visit our website at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org to see a very impressive listing of our Sponsors for 2016-2017. Debbie Thomas invited us to shop local and support our local businesses. Thanks was offered to the Optimist Hall Ladies who decorated the hall and worked in the kitchen so everyone could be guests.

The evening concluded with a heartfelt thank you to our many volunteers who make DHS a continued success.

Everyone was dismissed with wishes for safe travels and a healthy, happy new year. We hope to see everyone back on January 19, 2017!

Sandi Marr, Secretary

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