Bud ‘n Bloom Garden Club enjoys annual Christmas banquet

Submitted Photo Pete Howard joined Lucy Hurley in providing a concert of holiday songs before the Bud ‘n Bloom Garden Club’s recent dinner at the Fireside restaurant.

Twinkling lights, Christmas carols, the scent of evergreens and toys for children were all part of the holiday festivities when the Bud ‘n Bloom Garden Club held their annual Christmas banquet at the Fireside Restaurant in Van Buren in December.

The Christmas spirit of sharing was definitely evident as the ladies of the garden club gathered and brought toys for children to be distributed by the Rural Ministry, located in Dunkirk. Dolls, toy trucks, books stuffed animals and games were some of the items that were donated.

Upon entering the banquet room, the ladies enjoyed seeing the tables set in a rectangle and covered with white linen tablecloths and accented with holly green dinner napkins. Down the center of the tables, Blue Spruce branches emitted a heavenly winter scent. Red poinsettia plants were added along with huge southern pine pinecones and twinkling, multi-colored tea lights that glowed among the branches.

At each place setting, a glowing Santa, Rudolph, Snowman or Elf was perched near the greenery to blink and welcome the honored guests. Seasonally decorated packages of tissues and a tiny glass blue bird charm was also gifted to each member.

The program for the evening, designed by Jim and Judy Wilcox, followed the theme with a photo of an evergreen tree in the snow. Plates of Kathy’s Confections’ Christmas cookies were colorfully wrapped and placed on the tables to add to the decor and to be enjoyed at the conclusion of the dinner.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by member Lucy Hurley on the keyboard and professional musician Pete Howard on the saxophone. Their voices blended beautifully as they entertained with Christmas carols and songs of the season. The gardeners joined in and Sue Drag joined them with the bells for a very festive evening. Some of the tunes that the group heartily appreciated included “Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and “White Christmas.”

The group ordered from the menu, enjoyed the cookies and held a brief meeting. President Penny Deakin announced two important business meetings to be held at her home at 10:30 a.m. on the mornings of Jan. 10 and Jan. 17. The group will decide the 2019-2020 program. The Ways and Means projects for the year were very successful, including the recent sale at the Winter on the Lake event held at the Clarion Hotel for the benefit of the Literacy Volunteers of Western New York.

Drag and Judy Wilcox accepted the nominating committee responsibilities. Angeline Smith Leone agreed to do the publicity for the organization for another year, and Hurley agreed to head the tree planting duties for the club. Deakin thanked Mary Wiser and Leone for co-hostessing the evening and planning the decor and the toy donation. Janet Centner and Wilcox will chair the spring banquet.

Audrey Parker gave the evening’s invocation and will chair the February meeting when the group will create fresh flower arrangements for the WCA Home on Temple Street in Fredonia on Feb. 13.