The Seagrove Garden Club has been meeting for nearly 60 years. In recent years, one of their missions is to recycle flowers and send the arrangements to different local organizations.
SANTA ROSA BEACH — For Anna Marie White, the Seagrove Garden Club isn’t just a way to pass time, but a chance to serve her community.
Founded nearly 60 years ago, the women’s club meets every Monday at the Chapel at Crosspoint in Santa Rosa Beach. There, members arrange bouquets of recycled flowers from local grocery stores and weddings. The assortments are then donated to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, Somerby Senior Living and Brookdale Senior Living.
"It feels good to be a member," White said. "It is rewarding (and) it is fulfilling. ... I have yet to have one person say (they) didn’t have a good time."
For Eileen O’Grady, coordinator of the group, the Seagrove Garden Club has become her home away from home.
O’Grady added that she moved to Walton County about two years ago and didn’t know anyone. With the help of the club, she was able to meet like-minded women in her new community.
"Everybody contributes in their own way, and everybody wants to keep it going," she said. "It’s just something to do. ... I really love it (and) I’m really enjoying it. ... It’s really been great to meet all theses ladies, who live all around (and) come from different places."
According to White, the group recently gained the status of a nonprofit organization. It is set to host its biggest fundraiser of the year in December.
Dubbed Gifting and Sharing, the event will use auctions to benefit needy families in the area that have been selected with the help of local charities and churches.
Last year, the group raised more than $15,000, which funded gift cards for nearly 30 families and almost 80 children.
"We really do rely on donations from local florists and grocery stores, so we can always use more flowers," O’Grady said. "We could do more if we had more flowers."
Looking ahead, the Seagrove Garden Club plans to continue spreading its footprint across Walton County. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org