Janice Clem, President of VFGC, is shown with Mary Markham, President of the Belmont Garden Club and Co-president Orpha Hatcher after presenting to the club a congratulatory certificate upon the celebration of its 60th anniversary.
The Belmont Garden Club of Bedford celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a tea held at the home of Lisa Saunders on Monday afternoon March 20, 2017. In addition to the members present special guests included the President-Elect of National Garden Clubs, Nancy Hargroves, who will be installed at the national convention to be held in Richmond in May. Janice Clem, President of the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, and Marty Bowers who will be President for the 2017-2019 term of office were also in attendance. Lisa Robinson, the current President of the Blue Ridge District, and Sharon Jones, the incoming President were in Bedford to celebrate the occasion.
It was on a comment made by Elizabeth Stanley that she would like to be a member of a garden club that met at night that led to the formation of the Belmont Garden Club. Ruby Luck presented this suggestion to her club, The Garden Club of Bedford, and a committee was formed to assist in the organization of a garden club whose members could only meet at night. The first meeting of the club was held on Monday, March 18, 1957 at the home of Ruby Luck. It was decided that the meetings would be held at 8:00 pm. on the third Monday of each month. The Belmont Garden Club now meets in the afternoon rather than the evening. The membership was to be open only to business and professional women. The name Belmont, meaning beautiful mountain, was chosen for the name of the club. The daffodil became the club flower. The only living charter member is Becky McCauley. Eighteen ladies make up the club membership at the present time. Mrs. Mary Markham is the current President with Mrs. Orpha Hatcher being the Co-president.
The Belmont Garden Club is an active member in the Bedford Council of Garden Clubs with which it became affiliated in 1957. The Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs accepted it for membership in 1958. Among its projects locally, the club maintains a small garden at the Bedford Welcome Center, contributes annually to the National D-Day Memorial, buys Christmas gifts for the patients at the Bedford County Nursing Home and makes table arrangements for the dining room. It is also active in the Christmas Home Tour sponsored by the Bedford Council and is a participant in the Festival of Trees. Monetary contributions are made to the many projects of VFGC and NGC.