Mar 27th, 2014

Volunteers Honored; Julie Abbott Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Garden Volunteer Julie Abbott

Garden volunteer and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Julie Abbott, right, with volunteer Sharon Francisco, left .

by Jonah Holland, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator 

Volunteer Don Ziegler, Teresa Bettino  and Shane Tippett

Volunteer of the Month, Don Ziegler, left, with winner of the potting bench raffle, Teresa Bettino, and Garden Executive Director, Shane Tippett, right.

This week Garden staff gathered to honor our 500+ volunteers. Five-hundred PLUS! That’s alot of volunteers you say? Yes it is.  And our volunteers are some of the most hardworking, dedicated helpful people you’ll find.  This morning, as I walked through the Garden on my way to the office I was freezing and chiding myself for not dressing warmly enough for the short walk.  But really no matter what I had put on I would have been cold! Did I mention that it was 25 degrees — not counting the wind chill.  Then I met Elizabeth, one of our many volunteers. Elizabeth was on her way to her weekly work group sessions in the Grace Arents Garden. Did I mention these volunteers were working outside! All morning.  That is dedication!

So, as you can see, all of our volunteers are special. But last night we honored one very special volunteer, Julie Abbott, for her lifetime volunteer achievement at the Garden. Longtime Garden volunteer Sharon Francisco, presented the award along with these highlights: Julie Abbott has been a garden volunteer for 29 years. In 1994 she added  weeding, planting, and washing pots to her tasks. She’s helped with everything from floral design to mass mailings.  She worked the first plant sale and has worked every spring and fall sale since! She’s a member of the plant sale committee, recruits and schedules volunteers to staff the Master Gardener cart, and helps with plant selection. Julie Abbott was was one of the original Garden Shop volunteers when it was located in the Bloemendaal House and continues to volunteer in our current Garden Shop. She promotes the Garden at the Piedmont Federation of Garden Clubs, distributing flyers and writing articles. We are honored to present Julie Abbott with the Garden’s  Lifetime Achievement Award.

Julie Abbott

Volunteer Julie Abbott showing her fun side.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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