Hosting the California Garden Clubs Channel Islands District Luncheon

On March 19, 2019, members of the Organic Garden Club of Ventura County had a wonderful time hosting the California Garden Clubs Channel Islands District Luncheon at the North Ranch Center in Westlake Village.

Chef Juan Agustin, here with Diana Lovejoy and Mary Freed, created a spring inspired meal with all organic, seasonal ingredients sourced in Ventura County.

Our District Luncheon was a huge success thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of our wonderful volunteers! Scott Horn took the following professional pictures throughout the event.

Our Board Members went above and beyond all expectations, working throughout the event to make everything go smoothly! Especially Lori Cameron, who spent hours shopping online and in stores to find the perfect table settings. Lori bought reusable non toxic melamine plates, stainless steel silverware, cloth tablecloths and napkins, which we will use for future potlucks, as well as biodegradable and compostable glasses for wine, and water.

Lori was also a fabulous hostess for our Succulent Centerpiece Workshop where club members made a centerpiece to take home and helped make 30 vases for the District Luncheon! Each table had three plates marked for lucky folks to take home a vase. Lynne Haavaldsen made party favor seed packets to put at each place setting.

Debby Ellis arrived early and left late, setting the tables, greeting guests, heating the food, rinsing the dishes, and packing our supplies! Jill Toomey was a wonderful hostess throughout the event, as well as setting the tables and serving appetizers.


Steve Cameron and Joe Ellis were our dapper wine stewards, serving California organic wine.

Rey Gutierrez and Nils Tanaka helped unload the food and supplies, set the tables, greet the guests (here with member Melissa Hsu), and packed everything back into the cars.


Cheerful Greeters, Jan Clemens, Vivian Baer, and Mary Freed, welcomed the 84 guests at the door, checked them in and gave them name tags. Jan Clemens, our esteemed Treasurer, made lists, spreadsheets, took all the checks to the bank, and balanced the books.

Harry Baer did a great job setting up the Chinese Auction and Jennifer de las Torre sold auction tickets throughout the Luncheon. Gorgeous items were brought by all the clubs! Bill Brandt donated one of his beautiful hand lathed wooden bowls. Susan Goetz donated a beautiful tea service basket. Lori Cameron created three great gifts of gardening supplies.


Jill Toomey passed around spicy cauliflower appetizers and cheese, Brussel sprouts, and porchetta appetizers, as well as mango pixie tangerine shooters.


Diana Lovejoy greeted Channel Islands District Director, Linda Malone, and Bill Brandt visited with Malibu Garden Club President Glen Gessford.


Eight Garden Clubs attended and were represented by : Glen Gessford, Malibu; Diana Lovejoy, Organic; Sherry Molinari, Conejo Valley; Linda Malone, District Director; Joyce Klemann, Pleasant Valley; Jean Reiley, Westlake, Jacqueline Starr, Ventura; and Brad Welles, Las Floralias.

Ojai Valley Garden Club President , Linda Steis, and her club members arrived with one of the beautiful wreaths they make each year. The Conejo Valley Garden Club celebrated their 50 year anniversary with California Garden Clubs.


Before lunch, District Director Linda Malone made announcements, explained state updates, and gave out special awards. Each club president gave a report. Diana Lovejoy gave a speech to encourage the audience to "Go Organic".


By noon, everyone was ready to eat! Local organic spring salad, organic vegan pasta, organic Oxnard chicken, and organic cumquat cake! After the event, Sue Bryne took two trays of vegan pasta and donated them to the Thousand Oaks Lutheran Social Services.


After lunch, we held the Chinese Auction with lots of happy winners. Bill Brandt matched a winning ticket to Paula Osterbrink,  one of our volunteers who helped with both the set up and clean up.


To top off the event, Bill Brandt gave a fabulous and fun talk on “Growing Fruit in your Backyard” that got folks asking questions and wanting to know more!

A fabulous time was had by all!







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