Blue Star Memorial/Gold Star Families Memorial Markers in OhioC/GCO Markers project in the State of Ohio has been overwhelmingly embraced by member garden clubs in recent years. Under the enthusiastic leadership of past and present chairmen, Ohio now boasts 71 markers–68 Blue Star and 3 Gold Star. And more are planned in the near future!
Barbara Hilyard and Celine Hallier wish to profoundly thank the garden clubs who have dedicated markers during the years we have chaired this honorable program. These clubs dedicated Blue Star Memorial Markers: Avon Lake, Twinsburg, Perrysburg, Anthony Wayne, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Bay Village, Centerville, North Canton, Garden Trails, Herb Society at Hoover Historical Center, Berlin Heights, Lebanon, Gloriosa Gardeners, Alliance, Jackson District, Muirfield Village, Carrollton and Suburban, New England, Down to Earth, Afternoon, Dover (2), Hilliard, The Garden Club of Bentleyville, Mohawk Trail (3), Town and Country Gardeners, Beach Cliff, Heritage Herb Society, Garden Club of Ohio (University of Toledo), Northeast, Laurel and Serendipity. New England, Garden Club of Ohio (University of Toledo), and Laurel dedicated Gold Star Families Markers.
Each and every one of the dedications were dignified, touching, and meaningful. The Markers are a legacy to the clubs that sponsored them; moreover, they are a fitting tribute to our Armed Forces personnel–past, present, and future.
Thank you to every garden club in Ohio that has generously given of their time, talent, and helping hands to bring the Markers to their communities.
Barbara Hilyard will continue her Blue Star/Gold Star duties for the Southern districts and Jo’C Walker will chair the program for the Northern districts.
Thank you for letting us serve Ohio garden clubs as chairmen of this worthy project.
Celine Hallier, Chairman Barbara Hilyard, Chairman
Northern Districts Southern Districts
2015 Blue Star Memorial Markers Honor our Armed Forces
The NGC and GCO Blue Star Memorial Marker Project continues to add markers all across the State of Ohio. Approximately 50 markers have been dedicated–22 markers in the past two years alone! The program has blossomed and garden clubs have embraced the mission. Many of these clubs are small in number, but possess boundless enthusiasm and perseverance.
Hilliard Area Garden Club dedicates a Blue Star Memorial Byway Marker.
Pictured are Dennis Karem and Patty McHenry unveiling the Blue Star Marker
The Hilliard Area Garden Club dedicated a Blue Star Memorial Byway Marker on Sunday, October 18, 2015, at the Roger A. Reynolds Memorial Park in Hilliard. The dedication included patriotic music played by the 338th Army Reserve Band, and the presentation of colors by a color guard from the Hilliard VFW Post 4931. Lynn Fronk, President of the Garden Club of Ohio, Nancy Shaw, HAGC President; and Barb Hilyard, GCO Blue Star Chairman, Southern District, addressed the audience with remarks about the Blue Star Memorial. Under the leadership of Patty McHenry (HAGC project chairman), the marker project was completed with the cooperation and support of the Hilliard Area Garden Club, Hilliard American Legion Post 614, and the City of Hilliard, Department of Recreation and Parks. Additional sponsors of the marker were Environmental Management, Inc. and Dennis Karem, ASLA. Following the dedication, the Women’s Auxiliary of American Legion Post 614 provided refreshments.
On July 1, 2015, Carrollton Garden Club and Suburban Garden Club (both Canton District) collaborated to dedicate a Blue Star Memorial Marker on the grounds of the Town Square in Carrollton. The clubs presented a touching, meaningful ceremony that began with about 50 Patriot Guard Riders making a commanding entrance. The entire process was a wonderful example of cooperation of the two clubs to bring a Blue Star Marker to their town. Congratulations, Carrollton and Suburban Garden Clubs!
New England Garden Club (Canton District) dedicated a Blue Star Memorial Marker on July 26, 2015. This Club could not afford to purchase a Marker on their own, but received enthusiastic cooperation from the City of Massillon. At the first meeting with the City, the Club received the gift of a fundraiser concert and the promise of a check for the Marker! Massillon has a beautiful Veterans Park in their city, and the Marker fits beautifully alongside flags, other plaques and statuary that honor our military. The dedication capped off a three-day celebration that Massillon sponsors every other year to honor our military.
Down to Earth Garden Club (Mansfield District) dedicated a Blue Star Memorial Marker on September 13 at Veterans Hall at Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky. The Club has only 18 members and had been planning the event for over two years. They sold gardening gloves as their fundraiser. Four Marines gave emotional and inspirational speeches which touched us all. Ohio Veterans Home (the former Soldiers and Sailors Home) is funded by state and private funds and is a beautiful place that features independent, assisted living and skilled nursing for veterans. A cemetery on the premises holds 3200 graves with military from the Civil War to the Persian Gulf War and from ages 27 – 101.
Afternoon Garden Club (Canton District) dedicated a Blue Star Memorial Marker on September 20 at Jackson Township North Park in Massillon. Patriot Guard Riders opened the ceremony on a warm, sunny day and stood guard throughout the ceremony. GCO Officers Lynn Fronk, Deanna Stearns, and Mary Lou Smith all gave heartfelt tribute speeches. The floral piece was a depiction of the American flag.
Dover Garden Club (Canton District) dedicated a Blue Star Memorial Marker on October 4 at Dover City Park on a beautiful Fall day. Again, Patriot Guard Riders were an impressive presence. The ceremony was enhanced by 200 American flags that adorned the site.
Two more dedications are being planned for 2016, a by-way marker by Bentleyville Garden Club (Cleveland District) and a Memorial Marker by Town and Country Gardeners (Canton District).
While the number of markers is satisfying, there are still communities that could dedicate a Blue Star Marker. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing to have a Marker in every city, town and village? Wouldn’t it be a beautiful thing to pay tribute to our Armed Forces in every city, town and village? Wouldn’t it be? Your garden club or your GCO District can make that happen.
Afternoon Garden Club’s dedication was printed in a local newspaper. A Parks Supervisor from a neighboring township called and said, “We are dedicating a Veterans Park, and we want a Marker!” A garden club with members from that township stepped up and contacted the Supervisor, and now that Marker may happen! Will you step up and honor our military–past, present, and future?
Celine A. Hallier, Blue Star Chairman