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Blue Star Marker Media Releases

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The follow was sent to National Garden Club, Florida Federated Garden Clubs, Fort Myers News-Press, Naples Daily News, Florida Weekly and other smaller newspapers as a press release.

(photos by Anina Bach)

The Gulf Coast Garden Club (GCGC) dedicated the first Blue Star Marker on Old US 41 and Reynolds in Bonita Springs recently. The GCGC adopted the Blue Star Marker Program and for four years raised funds for the marker through plant sales, raffles, and support from sponsors—Pelican Landing Dental and Driftwood Gardens Center—in order to purchase the marker.  The City of Bonita Springs donated the ground and placement of the marker.            

The Blue Star Memorial Program honors service men and women.                

The Blue Star Marker Program has been expanded to include all men and women who served, were serving, or would serve in the armed services of the United States. The Blue Star became an icon in World War II.            

The purpose of the Blue Star Memorial Highway program is to erect highway markers at roadside rest stops, vista points historical sites, and other appropriate areas to pay tribute to all who have served, those who are presently serving, and those who will serve in the nation’s armed forces.

click to enlarge

Gulf Coast Garden Club members and guests with the newly dedicated Blue Star Marker on Old 41 in Bonita Springs.              

For more information about GCGC go to the website 
or email

Additional Information sent for media release follows

The First Blue Star Marker in Bonita Springs was dedicated March 29th, 2021.  The Gulf Coast Garden Club had been working very hard with the city and raising the money for the sign dedicated to our Armed Forces. In 1945, the National Council of State Garden Clubs. Inc. approved the Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker program. Rt. 41 is a Blue Star Memorial Highway. The purpose of the Blue Star Memorial Highway project is to erect highway markers at roadside rest stops, vista points, historical sites. and other appropriate areas to pay tribute to all who have served, those who are presently serving, and those who will serve in the nation’s armed forces.

photo #1  The Blue Star Mothers-Barbara Salkow and Gold Star wife and GCGC member Karen Faye standing together by the Blue Star marker before the unfailing.

photo #2   The American Legion Post 90  presenting the colors at the beginning of the Ceremony.

Photo#3  Patricia Townsend, President of the Gulf Gulf Garden Club and  Marge Hendon, FFGC President accept and start the dedication of the Marker.

Photo #4  The Mayor, Rick Steinmeyer, accepts the National Garden Clubs, INC. Certificate of the Blue Star Marker from Marge Hendon, FFGC President.

Photo #5 Tony Principato, Bugler BSA Troop 109. Bonita Springs blew Taps

Photo #6  Group photo of GCGC members and guests by newly dedicated Blue Star Marker on Old 41 in Bonita Springs

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Happening October 2021

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Oct 4   9:30 am Zoom Board Meeting
Oct 11 9:30 am 9:30 am General Membership Meeting – Unity Church 
Oct 14Garden Tour at Kathleen Forsman 
239-404-1629  RSVP
Mocking Bird Crossing
1625 Songbird Ct., Naples 34120
Oct 221:00 pmFMLCGC Pumpkin Social
Crafts, Plant Swap, Food and Prizes-FMLCGC
Oct 269:30 amDistrict IX Meeting
Fall meeting is a virtual meeting on Zoom
semi hosted by Punta Gorda.


May 10, 2021 Meeting

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Guest Speaker Paula Novander – meeting photos

GCGC MEETING      Minutes                                                                                                         May 10, 2021

Zoom Meeting:  May King, Moderator

Good wishes and prayers to Patty Townsend, President, undergoing surgery today

PROGRAM:  Paula Novander presented slide show on Color in the Florida Garden

  • Share your plants with other garden members
  • Riverland, Driftwood recommended Garden Centers for native plants and advice on choices for your needs
  • Photos of today’s program on our Website
  • February 14, 2022 Program by Paula Novander – Fun With Flowers


  • New Treasurer:  Sharon Kennedy
  • New Membership:  Nancy McPherson
  • Recording Secretary:  Need replacement
  • Blossoms Bulletin:  Need replacement

BLUE STAR DEDICATION CEREMONY:  Thank you to all members, volunteers and those attending

FLOWER SHOW:  March, 2022 – More Info to follow


  • Deposited the Driftwood ad donation and Membership renewals
  • Open items:  District dues
  • Blue Star Dedication on budget – thank you Suzy Valentine for coordinating plantings, and Ceremony
  • Last meeting this season – hope to see all in person in the Fall

WEB SITE:  Ben Bachrach

  • Advise any changes to your listing
  • Send photos of your garden for posting

Meeting Adjourned 10:30

Submitted by Anne Duffy, Recording Secretary – 5/27-A

January 10, 2022 Speaker Announced

“Creating inside the Bento Box” by Margy Metzler.

Kado Sensho Ikenobo Sensei Margy Metzler received her training from Master Sensei and Japanese National living Treasure Keiko Robbins while living in Okinawa, Japan. 

Margy studied for many years to receive her Sensei certificates.  She is a step below Master Sensei. 

Margy brings an art and design background to her Ikebana.  Margy offers group and individual lesson ( in person and via zoom), workshops and demonstrations.  Margy also preforms the Japanese Tea Ceremony in the Urasenke Chado tradition. 

You can contact Margy at or call 239-470-4079  You can go to to find out more about the Sensho Ikenobo school.

Bento boxes are Japanese food boxes.  The ones Margy uses are the more elaborate lacquer ones used for celebrations. 

Photos from Margy Metzler

March 8, 2021 Meeting

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photos from Bob Cook’s presentation “Pests in the Garden”
Meeting Minutes, March 8, 2021

March 8, 2021 Meeting




PROGRAM – “Pests in the Garden” – Bob Cook, Florida Nursery Grower & Landscaper, and teacher of Certified Horticultural Professional classes.


Board Positions (Secretary, Membership and Treasurer).  These positions need to be filled; however, the current officers have agreed to remain until Fall.

Flower Show.- February 25-26, 2022.  Need a chairperson to coordinate. Karen Hauwiller has been working with Kathleen Hawryluk on writing the schedule.  Please let Karen know if you are willing to chair this event or  help in any capacity.





BLUE STAR MEMORIAL – Monday, March 29, 2021 at 2:00 PM. Diane Schmidt volunteered to help finalize the event. If you plan to attend please send an email to Diane.


Also on the agenda for Monday’s meeting will be approval of the February 8, 2021, minutes and the budget for 2021-2022. Click here to read the minutes, and here to read the budget.

Message March 2021

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Happy March!

We are so lucky to have sunshine, blue skies, and flowers here in SW Florida. I know that I have missed getting together, seeing everyone, and sharing information. I have learned so much about Southwest Florida gardening from GCGC.

The GCGC Board of Directors just finished our March Board meeting and there were important decisions to communicate to members.

Our President, Pat Townsend, is still being treated in the hospital for a blood clot in her foot.  Pat needs to concentrate on her recovery.  Any notes or cards can be mailed to Pat’s home address. The rest of the board is working hard, doing our best under present circumstances: COVID limitations, trying to get a vaccine scheduled, everyday life, etc.

  1. Exciting news! We are going to start having in-person meetings again beginning with our next club year’s calendar. Our first meeting would be on October 11, 2021.  This also means that we can plan outings and excursions.

    We still have Board positions that need to be filled: Secretary, Membership, Treasurer. All clubs need member participation to be viable, and so far no one has communicated a willingness to help on the Board.  Present board members have agreed to stay in their positions until Fall.
  2. The Blue Star Memorial dedication is planned for Monday, March 29, 2021, at 2pm.  The event will be held outside at the site of the marker.

    If you have not yet seen our marker, it is located near the corner of Old 41 and Reynolds St in Bonita Springs.

    If you plan to attend, please email me at and let me know, so we can plan accordingly.  The dedication marks a major milestone for our club.
  3. Save April 12. 2021 for our annual April luncheon. Since there are no installations to perform at this time, the luncheon will be an opportunity to get together and socialize. More information to follow. 

— Diane Schmidt
Past President