First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

Previous Meetings

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Here are highlights of our meetings

October 3 2016

This was a very busy meeting.  We had the Award Ceremony for the Flower and Garden Show, Photo Contest voting, and a discussion about finances and the Christmas party.

Carol Kala presented the awards to the Winners of the many "Best Of" categories.  Two of the Children Winners were present along with their families.  You can see the winners that were present on the Flower Show page of the website.

Geoffrey passed out pictures and ballots for the 2016 Photo Contest.  Members had to sort through 27 pictures to pick their one favorite. Online Voting will take place during the week and the winner will be announced at the November Meeting.

Geoffrey Lacina was the only person that brought something for the Jelly an Jamboree so it will be postponed to the November meeting.

It was decided to have a Christmas party again this year.  Jan will manage the catering.  The meeting will start at 6:00 PM so don't be late or you will miss the food.  There will also be a collection of donations to a local charity.  The Charity will be finalized at the November meeting.

The Board will be working on a Financial Plan for the club over the next several board meetings.  Details will be provided as they are laid out.  

August 29 2016

This meeting focused primarily on the upcoming Flower and Garden Show.  There was no Board Meeting or entertainment.

Everything is set for the  Flower Show.  Carol Kala got a banner printed which will be placed at the Metra Berwyn station (6800 West Windsor in Berwyn).  This is a reusable banner where the dates of the show just have to be covered and re-applied each year.    It was decided the the  "Best Of" categories for the children category will be $25.00

Leonard Becker found out some information about the Houby Parade.  The club can enter a car for free.  There was some discussion on how the get a convertible and who would be able to make the parade.

Everything is also set for the banquet.  So far, no one has purchased any tickets but it is still early.  There will be a "Bucket" raffle at the banquet.  Each prize will have a bucket (or bag) in front if it and anyone wishing to try for the prize will enter their ticket(s) into the bucket.  Tickets will cost $5 for 3 tickets.

August 1 2016

There was a lot of discussion about the future of the organization.  Geoffrey presented the new proposed Mission, Vision, and Values.  Everyone agreed that we want to keep the club going even though it will be a challenge to bring in new, active, members.  

The plans for the Banquet and Flower Show were laid out.  Members are asked to please enter something into the show and bake something to sell.  There will be a Cooking Demonstration by Leonard Becker.  There will also be a banner advertising the show by the Berwyn Station.  More details about these events are on the website

We had the annual Ice Cream Social as the entertainment.  The Chybik family 'catered' this event.  

June 6 2016

Tom Walter was "officially" chosen to chair the banquet.  Willowbrook is the preferred venue.  Other details to follow.  It was decided that a November meeting was needed but it would not take place at the banquet.  It will be held the day after the banquet at the usual location

A group of employees from the Canadian National Railroad performed community service and weeded several gardens at Bohemian National Cemetery including Klacel Circle.  Mary and Arlene planted waxed begonias (red and white), and geraniums (blue) at the circle.  Arlene will donate Shasta Daisies and Irisis to the circle also.

Leonard Becker passed out begonias as the President's Challenge for the  Flower and Garden Show.  They must be planted in an 8 inch pot.  Arlene Artist will be the registrar.  Carol made flyers to pass out.  They will be passed out at the CAC Picnic.   She also decided to order ribbons for this year since it is the 80th Annual Show.

Speaking of,  The picnic will take place July 24.  The Club will be selling Ice Cream and have a table to sell other garden related items.  

Geoffrey started a conversation to reevaluate the club's mission statement and develop a vision and values statement.   These will guide the decisions of the club concerning finances, by-laws, and activities the club engages in

The topic of the presentation was Orchids.  Leonard arranged for a group of girls to get the club into the spirit of these tropical plants by performing several Hula dances.  Don White then did a fascinating presentation on Orchids.

May 2 2016

We got 4 new members this month!

The meeting portion was short because we had a great presentation set up.

Leonard Becker will chair the banquet committee and he is looking for help.  He is also looking for suggestions on how to make it better.  Leonard passed out a survey to members to find out what they would like at the banquet.  It will take place on November 6.

Bohemian National Cemetery will have their annual Memorial Day Services.  There is a bus that will leave from Sokol Spirit for those interested in going.

There was some discussion about what to plant at Klacel Circle.  Geof will talk to Mary Syrup

The Presentation was from Mr. Grunion-A Professional Nome (aka Jack McCray).  He dressed up like a nome and told the history and life of garden nomes. 

April 4 2016 Meeting

It was made official that Carol Kala will chair the Flower Show for 2016.  She suggested adding a Children's section.  She spoke to people at the Czech Museum and the North Berwyn Park District.  Everyone thought this is a great idea.  She also received donations of past year ribbons which will be recycled for this year.  

Ingrid and Miro Chybik passed out Dill Seeds.  It was mentioned that planting dill with the tomatoes and tomatoes with cabbage keeps the bugs down.  

The Lidice Ceremony will take place June 12

Mary Peranteau from the West Cook Chapter of Wild Ones mentioned their Native Plant Sale.  You can find out more at

Leondard Becker gave a presentation on Birdseed Feeders because the person that was going to talk about orchids was ill.  Jack McCray will talk about the life of a garden nome in May      

March 7 2016 Meeting

This was a short meeting.  It was decided not to have a July meeting as it would be on July 4.  There will be two meetings in August.  

The Flower Show will be on September 10 at Liberty Center with setup on September 9.  

Mary Syrup and Arlene Artist weeded Klacel Cirle.  They said it really needed it.

Leonard Becker,  Our President and Editor, added the hat of Presenter to his wardrobe.  He did a demonstration on how to make Domed Arrangements.   

February 1 2016 Meeting

There was no scheduled meeting in January so, of course, for the first time in three years the weather was nice enough in January to have a meeting!

Th highlight of the February meeting was the installation of officers.  The new officers and board members were installed by  Dorthy Trunda.  The Board then elected their officers.  Click here to see the officer list.

Flower Show Dates were selected.  There was some discussion about moving the show from the first Saturday after Labor Day to some time in August.  Carol Kala said she was not sure what dates were still open.  It was decided to select three alternative dates and present them the the Berwyn Park District: September 10, August 20, and August 27.  Carol will let the club know what date was chosen.  The show will  be at the Liberty Center.  Carol suggested having a Kid's Category at the show 

A lively discussion took place about the magazine.  Everyone agreed it was very important but no one volunteered to succeed Ingrid Chybik.  Ingrid re-iterated she will not continue on as Editor - even temporarily.  Finally, after the meeting, Leonard Becker said he would try to run the magazine.

Carol May sent out 105 membership renewal notices and received 50 responses.  This included some death notices, membership cancellations, and some very nice letters.

Geoffrey Lacina motioned to form a committee to review the by-laws and bring them more in line with the current needs of the organization.  He noted that there are 14 officers (16 counting the past-president and alternate board member) and only about 25 members that attend meetings.  Ingrid Chybik and Martha Cervenka volunteered to be on the committee.  Geoffrey will chair the committee. 

December 7 2015 Meeting

This meeting was our 2nd Annual Christmas party.  Jan Sowinski arranged for catering for this years event.  Members brought appetizers and deserts as well.  The entree was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and Cole Slaw.

Members were asked to contribute to the charity that was selected  at the October meeting: the Berwyn Sailor's Christmas Dinner.  The member's donation was matched by the club.

The more important matter at this meeting was the election of officers.  The Nominating Committee's slate was elected.  Leonard Becker will  be our new president for 2016 and Tom Walter will be the Treasurer. Arlene Artist and Mary Syrup will be the new Board Members through 2018.

An Audit committee was selected to review the organization's books.  They will present their findings at the February meeting.  Ingrid also announced she will be stepping down as Editor of the Our Garden's magazine.  Her last issue will be the December 2015 edition.

October 5 2015 Meeting

This was a very busy meeting.

Flower Show

The Winners received their ribbons from Carol Kala.  There was also a recap of the show and discussion of its future.  It was decided that the show was a success.  Several members who do not attend anything else come to the show.  There were also a lot of people from sister organizations, politicians, and local residents.  Overall it was well attended.  Carol was also surprised at how many exhibits there were.  She was impressed that the few entrants found so many things to present.  There were a lot of empty categories and it was agreed that printing ribbons with a year and category was wasteful. All in All the consensus was that the show is a lot of work, a lot of money, but a lot of fun and worth it.  Now we just need someone to run it!

Jelly and Jamboree

The second annual Jelly and Jamboree was held at this meeting.  Members are asked to bring in something they made from the harvest of their garden.  Those that brought something can share it with the club, edonate to be sold, or can swap amongst the other participants. 6 people brought something.  2 people swapped items and everyone else donated their items to be served at the meeting.  This was at the insistence of the members present

2015 Photo Contest

Members voted for the winner of the 2015 contest - Flower Power.  There was a slideshow presentation of the entries and the ballot has small pictures.  The winner will be announced at the next meeting.  That person will receive a 1 year membership in the club.

December Meeting

There was a discussion about what to do at the December meeting.  The Cookie Exchange was dropped last year and members raised money to donate to a charity.  It was decided to have a catered dinner and once again raise money for a charity.  Members are asked to let Jan Sowinski know if they will be coming and to also bring a dessert or appetizer.  Money will be collected to give to a Serviceman's Christmas Dinner held by the City of Berwyn.

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