La Grange Garden Club donates funds
Janet Stauffer and Mary Vaccarello, both of La Grange and members of La Grange Garden Club, look at the vegetable garden beds installed at Helping Hand Center with Sheila Symons, a life skills manager at Helping Hand.
Updated: October 21, 2012 1:06PM
The La Grange Garden Club paid it forward recently, donating $7,000 to local organizations to help them develop garden therapy programs and sensory gardens.
The club bestowed funds to Helping Hand Center in Countryside, Seguin Services in Cicero and Hope Institute Learning Academy in Chicago, all of which work with developmentally delayed, special needs or autistic children and adults.
“This donation really fulfills one of our club’s missions to encourage garden therapy,” said Mary Vaccarello, club president. “We do a lot of civic beautification projects but we wanted to do something with people who could benefit in a personal way.”
“Helping Hand is close to our heart and community so that was an easy fit,” she said. “Seguin also does so much to help people with disabilities and they’re already further along in the (garden therapy) process. One of our members is involved at Hope School and knew that they wanted to start a sensory project.”
Helping Hand Center received the bulk of the funding and has already begun creating a raised garden. Club members will continue to work with the group to teach composting so residents can learn how the entire cycle works.
“We wanted to make contributions to club members’ nominated groups which fit our club’s mission,” said past president Jan McFarland. “The group felt that these three fit the bill perfectly.”
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