In spite of the pouring rain of Saturday morning, May 13th, at 9 a.m., people braved the moisture to be there in force for the start of the annual plant sale outside the Woodstock Community Center, overflowing into the parking lot for attorney Diane Sykes' office, where hundreds of plants were on display for sale.
By now, many neighbors have learned that the pre-Mother's Day annual plant sale sponsored by the Woodstock Neighborhood Association (WNA) and the Friends of the Woodstock Community Center (FWCC) is a place to find quality plants at a bargain. The funds raised help keep the Community Center open for local residents all year.
Last year, sunscreen and sun hats were required; but this year – in one of the wettest years in the city's history – the rain was not unexpected, and it was instead slickers and umbrellas that made it possible for people to browse and buy.
It takes dozens of people to put on a plant sale where two thirds of the plants come from neighborhood gardens. Extras, divided plants, vegetable and flower transplants – all are integral for the sale.
Generous plant donors abounded this year. In addition to the many Woodstock-based gardeners who contribute annually, Karen and Larry Krettler (also longtime donors) drove 252 tomato plants in from Oregon City; and a new donor, Ted Berry, a/k/a "Farmer Ted", contributed tomato and pepper plants from his farm in Oregon City as well.
Lents resident Bill Boggs contributed Asiatic Lillies and premium shrubs from his backyard nursery; and a number of businesses donated plants that were greatly appreciated.
The plant sale is a very popular community builder in addition to its importance as a fundraiser, but it would not be possible without the dedicated help of dozens of volunteers. A new volunteer, Dawn Haecker, was enthusiastic about the sale and all the work that made it possible. "I just want to thank everyone for all the hard work and camaraderie that went into making today a success. Yes, we made money. But we also had fun, beautified the neighborhood, made new friendships, and deepened old friendships. As a new member of this community, it filled my heart to be a part of it all."
Merrilee Spence, another stalwart volunteer, commented after the sale, "I'd especially like to recognize some other Woodstock volunteers. Sandy Profeta's help was invaluable with pre-event organization, and Terry Clements expertly guided the set-up process Saturday morning. Thanks to the morning's volunteers, we were ready in time for the early birds who inevitably show up!"
Kitsy Brown Mahoney drove to Oregon City to pick up plants. And Shelly Keach once again contributed her popular hypertufa pots. Plant sale coordinator Terry Griffiths was roundly praised for the tireless hours she put in.
And afterward, at 5:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon, after it all was cleaned up and everyone had gone home, Pete Adams – financial manager for the Friends of Woodstock Community Center – e-mailed the good news that the sale had netted the second highest plant sale proceeds to date.