Faithful readers know how blessed we have been at the Stoddart Avenue Community Garden and I am writing to tell you about another blessing: The Cougar Group. Bill Dawson, the Director of Franklin Park Conservatory's Growing to Green Community Garden program called me a few weeks ago about a company which was locating its new headquarters a hop, skip and a jump down the road from us on Alum Creek Drive. As part of the celebration for the opening of its new HQ on April 30, the company wanted to do something to help a nearby community garden which involved raffling off a lawn mower. Of course, he thought of us. He told me that the company's name was The Cougar Group – and he insisted that he was not making a reference to my age or marital statusJ I had visions of me and my hardy group of volunteers selling the tickets . . . .
I then met with Bill the company's outside public relations consultant, Kathy Wient. She explained that the company would be holding an invitation-only special event (with a live band and BBQ) and would be raffling off one of their super high-end, commercial quality push lawn mowers -- specifically a Cougar C19AL -- as a fundraiser at the event to benefit the SACG. All I had to do was show up with a picture board with lots of pretty pictures of the SACG and tell everyone there how wonderful we are (an easy task, to be sure). How great is that? I would be thrilled with $100, but Kathy is much more ambitious than that – bless her heart. Keep your fingers crossed for us on April 30.
Bill will also be attending to promote GTG and community gardening in general. Ms. Anthony also hopes to attend as a show of support.
But it gets better. Kathy and Mike Watkins – the President of The Cougar Group – were among the first volunteers to arrive to help us dig out the SACG for the beginning of the 2010 gardening season on April 10. Mike helped dig holes to plant our four new rose bushes and five new blueberry bushes. This is easier said than done when you consider the layers of brick and concrete which are only three inches below ground. Kathy helped us pick up litter and spread mulch on the pathways. Neither of them could have been any nicer.
We are very excited about our new neighbors and hope their grand opening celebration, raffle and business are very, very successful.