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Members of the Rowan County Master Gardener Volunteer Association put down their trowels and gathered this week for their annual Christmas Social.
The social was a time to relax but also recognize those who had contributed much to the organization and the community. The association is made up of Master Gardener volunteers who have completed the initial course and continue to remain active and contribute by volunteering for educational efforts in the North Carolina Cooperative Extension horticulture program.
Carolyn Alexander, president of the Rowan County Master Gardener Volunteer Association, led this year’s volunteers. She was recognized for her leadership and presented the Silver Can Award.
In every volunteer organization, some are willing to donate extra time and effort for both the organization and the community. Master Gardener volunteers recognized for their efforts are awarded the Silver Can Award.
Silver Can Award winners are selected from previous award winners. Other recipients of the 2007 Silver Can Award are Bob Bruce for his outstanding work with various Master Gardener volunteer projects at the West End Garden and Richard Wagner for his continued efforts with greenhouse maintenance and upkeep during a difficult summer.
Also receiving accolades for exceptional contributions to 2007 Master Gardener volunteer projects were Melody Hartsell, Dawn Holshouser, Evan Randall and Ellie Cruse.
Incoming officers of the Master Gardener volunteer organization for 2008 are Bruce, vice president; Martha Mincey, secretary; Holshouser, treasurer; and Yvonne Randall, historian.
Carole Massey was also recognized for her contributions as the Rowan County Master Gardener coordinator. The part-time position, funded by the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation, often becomes an overtime job during the busy season. Rowan County is one of the few counties in the state fortunate enough to have private support for this position and dedicated volunteers such as Massey.
Cooperative Extension is now accepting applications for the 2008 Master Gardener Volunteer Program. If you want to learn more about gardening and have the desire to volunteer, then you may want to consider being a Rowan County Master Gardener volunteer. Applications for the spring program are due in the Extension Office by 5 p.m., Jan. 14. You can download an application and other information from www.rowanmastergardener.com; click on: “Become a Master Gardener.”
Those who want more information about the program should attend a question-and- answer session on Jan. 11, 1:30 p.m. to discuss the program.
Darrell Blackwelder is an agricultural agent in charge of horticulture with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. For archived garden columns or other information, visit the Rowan County Master Gardener Web site at www.rowanmastergardener.com, e-mail Blackwelder at Darrell_Blackwelder @ncsu.edu or call 704-216-8970.

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