This year the Wilton Garden Club did their philanthropy a little differently. Instead of just putting the checks in an envelope and mailing them to recipients, club members decided to deliver the donations in person and meet the heads of the organizations at their worksites.
In all, the WGC met with eight organizations. Nan Merolla, a past WGC president, was their traveling photographer.
Donations are funded primarily through proceeds from the annual Wilton Garden Club Mother’s Day Plant Sale. The club has sponsored 82 plant sales in its 101 years of existence; this year, the sale will be held on Friday, May 6, and Saturday, May 7 at the Wilton Town Center at the Gazebo (101 Old Ridgefield Rd.).
This sale is one of the largest and most comprehensive plant sales in the Wilton area and the demand last year was record-setting.
Offerings will include a large selection of perennials, annuals, vegetable seedlings, herbs, hanging baskets, wildflowers, flowering shrubs, patio containers, and floral gift baskets. There will be an increase in the number of native and pollinator plants on hand and, once again, many popular, award-winning dahlia tubers will be available. By popular demand, this year shoppers will find indoor houseplants which make great gifts.
For 2022, the Club will hold a pre-sale event on Wednesday, May 4 at the Comstock Community Center Greenhouse (180 School Rd.) for those who want to get the first choice on many of the smaller gift selection offerings like hanging baskets, creatively designed floral baskets, and an assortment of herbs and vegetable plants.
“Such a great reminder of one of the main reasons we all work so hard to make the plant sale a success — profits allow us to support important projects in our community,” said WGC philanthropy co-chair Jennifer Davatzes.
Club members called their donation disbursement efforts “Wilton Garden Club’s Giving Day.” In all, the club donated $6,900 to eight community organizations doing great work in areas aligning with the WGC mission.
Members were thrilled to be able to meet with the leaders of each organization to present them with a check and said they found it extremely rewarding to feel the appreciation they received.
One of the donation recipients was Matthew O’Brien, the major gift officer at Save the Sound. The Garden Club donated to support Save the Sound’s work to deconstruct the Dana Dam located along the Norwalk River Valley Trail near Merwin Meadows.
According to Save the Sound, Dana Dam is the first impassable barrier for migratory fish on the Norwalk River. The dam also poses potential flood threats to nearby Metro-North railroad infrastructure and downtown Wilton. The project will also eliminate safety hazards posed by the dam, while restoring 1,400 feet of river channel for river herring, eel, sea lamprey, brook trout, and other popular sport fish, along with 1.5 acres of riparian buffer for birds, mammals, amphibians and other wildlife. Save the Sound is looking for additional donations for this project.
In addition to Save the Sound, this year the Club made donations to the following organizations: DAR’s Never Forget Garden, Federated Garden Club of CT Scholarship, Norwalk River Valley Trail, Norwalk Watershed Association, Wilton Historical Society, Wilton Land Conservation Trust, and Wilton Library. The funds donated by the Club came from the purchases made at its well-attended annual Mother’s Day Weekend Plant sale last year.
Wilton Garden Club’s President Nancy Greeley made the pitch for shoppers to help the club maintain its tradition of generosity. “Come to the plant sale on Mother’s Day weekend and help us continue to support these important organizations that are making a difference in our community,” Greeley said.
Learn more about the Wilton Garden Club’s Mother’s Day Plant Sale online.