Member Meetings

A Bee-Themed Meeting! – May 2024

Photos by Donna Erhard (click on images to enlarge)

Submitted by Andrea Apuzzese

On Thursday, May 9, members of the Garden Club of LBI gathered at the First Methodist Church located in Beach Haven Terrace for their final meeting of the calendar year.

The 127 ladies in attendance (118 active members, 5 associates and 4 guests) were treated to a delectable luncheon of sandwiches and desserts provided by Maria Dinella’s dedicated hospitality team of 12 hostesses. Gracing the serving tables were stunning spring arrangements created by Michele Farias, Penny Clark and Dot Duffy.

At the meeting, Garden Club member t-shirts were distributed to those who had ordered them.  Tickets were on sale for the June 20th Outdoor Living and Garden Tour and Art Show. Members also planned their tables and ordered tickets for the annual spring luncheon to be held on June 6, 2024.

As part of the agenda, Eileen Szperka and Dianne Pleynn gave their final presentations as Membership and Programs Chairs, respectively, as their terms are now complete.  Joanne McKee, also ending her term as Corresponding Secretary read many thank you notes sent from recipients of the Club’s forty-four May Day baskets.

The meeting’s guest presentation was titled, “Honey Bees and Me: A Sweet Journey!” given by Gary and Erin Schempp, owners of Busy Bees NJ LLC, A Honey Bee Rescue Company.

The program, focused on the amazing nature of honey bees, was both incredibly informative as well as entertaining and garnered many questions from members. At the conclusion of the program, Gary Schempp encouraged members to take a class with the New Jersey Beekeepers Association or to join a local Beekeeping Club!

A Plantastic Day! – April 2024

Photos by Lisa Tyson & Diane Macrides (click on images to enlarge)


Submitted by Andrea Apruzzese

On Thursday, April 11, 2024, the monthly meeting of The Garden Club of LBI took place at the First Methodist Church in Beach Haven Terrace. There were 107 women in attendance, including 101 active members, 2 associates and 4 guests. The atmosphere was vibrant and buzzing with enthusiasm!

Joni Barbarula, representing the Hospitality Committee consisting of 13 hostesses, delivered a thank you message to all who helped during the meeting. The committee had organized a delectable luncheon comprising salads, sandwiches, and desserts! Additionally, Leslie Karvan and Diane Pleyn were credited with creating the two stunning spring centerpieces for the event.

President Lois Perry called the meeting to order and invited the various committee heads to give their reports. Diane Macrides, Website and Social Media Chair and Julie Eller, Historian, made a lovely presentation about the past presidents, many of whom were recognized at the meeting. Julie diligently researched and compiled comprehensive histories and biographies of each former president, which are now accessible on the Club’s website.

The meeting concluded with a delightful presentation by Dr. S. Ann Earon, a Master Gardener with the Ocean County Master Gardener’s Speakers Bureau. Her presentation was on Plantastic Succulents.  Dr. Earon shared that her success in gardening “is enhanced with time, money and the willingness to toss a plant if it does not behave.”  The program was followed by numerous questions from the membership.

Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, May 9, 2024!

New Members Induction & Gardening Tips! March 2024

Photos by Joyce Lubach (click on images to enlarge)

Submitted by Andrea Apruzzese

The monthly meeting of the Garden Club of LBI was held on Thursday, March 14 at the First Methodist Church located in Beach Haven Terrace. There were 100 women in attendance, including 93 active members, 3 associates and 4 guests.

Maria Dinella’s hospitality team of 12 hostesses prepared a delicious array of sandwiches, cookies and fruit salad which were enjoyed by all.  Two beautiful centerpieces were the contribution of Lois Perry and Deb Cowles.

President Lois Perry called the meeting to order.  In her report, Lois mentioned that Diane Macrides, who holds the position of Website/Social Media Chair, concurrently conducted a presentation on website and social media topics to twenty-two presidents of New Jersey garden clubs at the Garden Club of New Jersey’s District VIII meeting. This was based on the growing success and outreach of The Garden Club of LBI’s social media program, most especially its presence on Facebook.

As part of the membership report, Eileen Szperka introduced the club’s 14 new members, 8 of whom were present.  Membership now stands at 189, with 171 active and 18 associate members. She then announced the slate of officers for the upcoming year, who had been approved by the Nominating Committee and subsequently accepted by the membership.  New officers will be inducted at the annual luncheon in June.

The meeting concluded with a lively and information packed presentation by Master Gardener Nancy Osterberg with the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Ocean County.  Her subject was “Starting a Vegetable Garden? Let’s Pro-Seed!” She provided numerous tips and suggestions for growing a successful vegetable garden!

Valentine’s Day Celebrated in Style! February 2024

Photos by Olga Perlman & Debra Resch (click on images to enlarge)

Submitted by Diane Macrides

On Thursday, February 8, 2024, the Garden Club of LBI convened for its monthly meeting at the First United Methodist Church located in Beach Haven Terrace. The meeting boasted an impressive attendance of 99 individuals, which consisted of 87 regular members, as well as 4 associates and 8 guests.

To ensure a delightful dining experience, the Hospitality Committee, led by Maria Dinella, took charge of organizing a tasty lunch. Attendees were treated to a delectable spread consisting of an assortment of sandwiches and mouthwatering desserts. Both members and guests eagerly indulged in the appetizing offerings.

President Lois Perry called the meeting to order and commenced a discussion on the club’s upcoming events. Additionally, several committee reports were presented.

The meeting also featured a presentation by this month’s guest speaker, Jaclyn Rhoads, Ph.D., who serves as the Assistant Executive Director of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. Jaclyn enlightened attendees about the unique value the Pinelands holds for both wildlife and wilderness enthusiasts in South Jersey. During her presentation, she clarified the role of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance as a nonprofit watchdog organization, specifically focused on the conservation and protection of the Pinelands. She also highlighted the various opportunities that the organization offers to the public. These include the Pinelands Adventures program, which provides nature-based experiences, the Rancocas Creek Farm where individuals can purchase healthy food, and the Access Nature website, which serves as a resource for finding trails within the Pinelands!

Garden Club Welcomes New Year! January 2024

Photos by Diane Macrides (click on images to enlarge)

Submitted by Diane Macrides

The Garden Club of LBI launched their first 2024 monthly meeting on Thursday, January 11th after a brief hiatus.  In attendance were 79 members, 2 associate members and 10 guests totaling 91 attendees.

Members and guests were treated to an exquisite light lunch. The lovely event was orchestrated by Maria Dinella, Hospitality Chair, and her dedicated committee. Many members were joyfully conversing and sharing their thoughts about the scrumptious tea and sandwiches that were served during the luncheon.

The individual committee chairs engaged in discussions concerning their respective programs, projects and objectives to ensure that our membership remains well-informed. Two members contributed their artistic flair by creating centerpieces.  Nancy Sternberger crafted an exquisite winter arrangement, while Nancy Kunz skillfully designed a cascading display of tulips. Both designs received admiration from all attendees!

This month’s guest speakers were Alec Boss, Digital Marketing & Communications Coordinator and Brittany McLaughlin, Assistant, from Save Barnegat Bay. The two lecturers engaged in a discussion centered around the preservation of Barnegat Bay and the crucial endeavor of restoring its ecosystem.