Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Garden Club Brings Retirees Fun Valentines

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Garden Club Brings Retirees Fun Valentines

Article excerpt

Byline: Rhonda Reese

Thanks to the efforts of some creative individuals, residents of PSI Mandarin Center, a senior retirement community at 3933 Pritmore, enjoyed a fun Valentine's Day.

After holding a successful Christmas party at the facility, members of the Mandarin Garden Club's crafty ladies group could hardly wait to return and instigate another round of festive fun.

"The ladies are wonderful," Deborah Campbell, manager at PSI, said of the garden club ladies. "They're fast learners, too. This time they added several sugar-free items to all the goodies they provided for the party."

The crafty ladies prepared sweet treats, homemade cookies, pink punch and decorative Hershey Kisses roses for each resident.

Following Becky Bathen's sharing of Valentine knock-knock jokes and leading brave souls to belt out some "love songs," club members passed out red bingo cards. Club members donated prizes for bingo winners.

"This means so much to our residents," Campbell said of the gardeners' efforts. "The residents also enjoyed the pets some of the club members brought."

The pets appeared to enjoy the party, too.

"Pepper, family member of McGlade Holloway, sported a red and white Be Mine sweater while greeting partygoers. Boo Bear, a rescued shih tzu whose "mom" - Carol Walters - dressed in beige to match, provided lots of love to visitors, as did Shiloh, an Italian greyhound wearing a fuzzy pink valentine, and Barbara Price's Yorkie decked out in a lavender dress.

"This is fun for everyone. We enjoyed doing this," garden club member Mary Forester said. "We'll be back soon."


The ninth annual Florida Gourd Show is at the East Palatka Fairgrounds this weekend, and Mandarin resident Kim Belvin has 11 hand-painted or gouged items entered.

There are 75 categories for the competition, said Belvin, a member of the Northeast Florida Gourd Society, adding that her items will be featured in the jewelry, miniature, realist animal, wood-gouged, covered container and hand-painted exhibitions. …

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