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Garden tour, tea raises money for War Memorial Building

By Staff | May 25, 2018

Despite the drizzly weather, dozens of people sipped tea and nibbled on scones in the War Memorial Building after completing the Back Alley Garden Tour on Saturday afternoon.

The annual event, which continued into Sunday, raised money to care for the War Memorial Building and Morgan’s Grove Park.

“This year is the first time we have had the garden at Popodicon in our tour, which is a huge honor,” said SCC board member Nancy Stewart, who is also the president of the Berkeley-Jefferson Master Gardeners Association. Stewart said 15 gardens were on display during this year’s tour.

“Bad weather’s not helpful, but a lot of the people who participated in this fundraiser are gardeners, so they don’t usually mind the rain,” Stewart said. She and fellow SCC board member Rebecca Ayraud led the event with the help of other board members and community volunteers.

Meg Spurlin and Sheila Vertino donated fresh, locally-sourced floral arrangements to adorn the room and be sold at the event, the proceeds of which went to Morgan’s Grove Park. The Toast Catering’s owner, Susan McCarthy Walton, donated her time to create plate after plate of tea sandwiches, tarts and mini scones. Live music accompanied the tea, provided by local musicians playing the bass viol, guitar and piano.

Eight girl scouts earned community service hours helping with Saturday’s Tea, seven of whom were from Troop 40033. Troop leader Sarah Barz said the troop decided to help for a second year, because the girls had so much fun last year.

“I think it’s important for them to learn about serving, to understand the privilege of being served,” Barz said. “Plus, they get the privilege of interacting with the community, so they’re learning real life skills.”

Blair Dubois, of Shepherdstown, attended the event with her parents and two sons, who are almost 1 and 3 years old. Dubois and her mother said the boys’ favorite gardens on the tour were the ones with fountains and chickens.

“It’s good to support Morgan’s Grove Park,” said Dubois. “Even though it’s raining, it’s for a good cause.”

Dubois’ mother, Gail Butler, of Inwood, said the weather didn’t discourage many attendees.

“It’s a fun thing to do, even in the rain,” said Butler, who’s also the former president of the Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council. “If people want to come, they’ll come -this rain’s not going to stop them.”