There are so many contributors that make Birmingham Botanical Gardens a success. And we like to thank those individuals, community partners, and businesses as often as we can. The bottom line is, however, that even if we had buckets of money -- which we don't -- we wouldn't be able to do a fraction of what we do without our loyal and savvy army of volunteers. We thought we'd have a little fun with the theme this year: Hollywood. We're literally rolling out the red carpet for our shining stars.
This Thursday, December 16, we pay homage to these many wonderful people who give back to their community here at The Gardens. The annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon is a tradition started years ago, and is still going strong today. You would think that at an event honoring our volunteers, they would want to take the day off and kick back. But true to the volunteer spirit, these givers of time and talent insist on doing a potluck, perhaps to show off their culinary prowess. The reality is it's just in their nature to give, and if that means making a mean green bean casserole to honor their fellow volunteers, well, by golly, that's what they're gonna do!
The luncheon is more than just a chance for these fine citizens to show of their cooking skills. We will also give out our 2010 Volunteer of the Year Awards. The Hollywood theme is a nod to the awards, which honor volunteers in five categories: Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year, Plantsperson of the Year, Educator of the Year, Community Partner of the Year and A. Brand Walton, Jr. Unsung Hero of the Year. The latter is a new prize named for the late Brand Walton who served as The Friends' pro bono legal counsel for years. This new award will recognize someone who has benefited The Gardens “behind the scenes” like Brand and so many others have.
Stay tuned for a follow up post about the award winners! I may even share a recipe or two!