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Beatrice Civic Garden Club celebrates 45th anniversary

September 8, 2018

Karen Mains, the publicity chairwoman of the Beatrice Civic Garden Club, flips through the club's yearbook at St. John's Lutheran Church on Thursday. The club is celebrating its 45th anniversary this Monday.

The Beatrice Civic Garden Club has reached yet another milestone.

The club, known for its beautification of the Nichols Park bandstand and the Open Class Flower Show at the Gage County Fair, is celebrating its 45th anniversary at its monthly meeting, Monday.

Publicity chairwoman Karen Mains said peoples’ love of gardening has allowed the club to thrive.

“That’s probably the main reason,” Mains said. “We all love our yards, our flowers, our garden, produce.”

The Beatrice Civic Garden Club was chartered on June 25, 1973, by seven charter members. Norma Lohse, who died in July, was the eighth charter member and former president of the club.

Most know the club for its work with the bandstand in Nichols Park, where the club has cleaned, planted and cared for the grounds since 1987. That project began when the Beatrice Clean City organization coordinated the “Adopt the Spot” program to encourages organizations, groups and individuals to get involved in beautifying different areas of the city.

In the early 1990s, the club also began sponsoring the Open Flower Show at the Gage County Fair and has helped grow entries over the years. In 2000, for example, flower entries numbered around 600, compared to over 1,300 at this year’s fair.

Much of the club’s history is contained in a yearbook bulging with news clippings and photos that chronicles the clubs’ past. If the book shows one thing, it’s that the club prides itself as a model of consistency. One Daily Sun clipping from 1993, for example, lists the same meeting time - the second Monday of every month - that the club stills follows today.

“We’ve maintained good membership and interested people,” said Roselyn Shaffer, president of the club. “We continue to have tours every year...we have a program at each meeting. Hopefully we can learn something and share information.”

While the club has maintained many of its traditions, some things have changed, Shaffer said. Many of the members, for example, are mostly women, compared to when the club was first founded and was comprised mostly of couples.

While the club focuses on all things horticulture, it’s also a civic club, engaging with the community and helping to keep Beatrice beautiful.

According to the club’s yearbook, the group’s purpose is “to educate members in all phases of gardening, to encourage interest in home gardening and to promote better horticultural practices and the conservation of natural resources.”

In that past, club members have volunteered to ring Salvation Army bells at Christmas and have made donations to Beatrice United Way.

Today, the club boasts around 35 members, according Shaffer. Officers include vice-president Glennys Lienemann, secretary Shirley Shaffer and treasurer and bandstand chairman Ginny Haddix.

The club will celebrate its milestone anniversary with ice cream and cake on Monday at 7 p.m. at St. John Lutheran’s Church Fellowship Hall, 701 North 6th St.

The club meets the second Monday of every month at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

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