Story and Photos by Ed Kane
In celebration of their 60 years of existence, the Interlaaken Garden Club has unveiled the Blue Star Memorial Marker they acquired to honor¬†the men and women¬†who have served in the military. The marker will be installed at the Gravelly Lake-Nyanza gateway intersection garden to welcome all who enter Lakewood through that access. Judy Swortz, Vice President and Program Director for the Interlaaken Garden Club, got the ball rolling when she suggested the club invest money into a major project that would contribute both to the attractiveness of Lakewood and exhibit the city’s respect for the military.
Lakewold Gardens opened the grounds and hosted the event on Wednesday, Aug. 15. During the ceremony Sara Crumbe, District Deputy Director for Congressman Norm Dicks,’ presented a folded flag to Mayor Claudia Thomas as tribute to the contributions made by the Interlaaken Garden Club towards the quality of life in Lakewood. The flag had hung over the nation’s capitol.
Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB) gave $500 to the club towards the marker acquisition, and the City of Lakewood contributed space, engineering and installation to help with the overall estimated cost of $4,000. The KLB contribution as well as the Interlaaken Garden Club’s share were in part in recognition of the funds bequeathed to both organizations by the late Rose Murphy.
Speaking at the dedication, Sherry Pasquire, President president of the Interlaaken Garden Club, praised the women of the organization for their numerous contributions. “This club is made up of an amazing group of women. They are generous, they have contributed greatly to the area, and for the past 60 years they have been a very strong presence here in Lakewood.” They have, said Pasquire, given to projects such as schools and the Lakewood Library from plants propagated from their own yards. Among those singled out was Judy Swortz whose passion and perseverance made the dedication of the marker a reality.
The Honor Guards of the Knights of Columbus performed the posting of flags ceremony and delivered the flag from congressman Norm Dicks who was at another event and could not make an appearance. After the posting of the colors a certificate was presented to Sherry Pasquire by Past State President, Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs (WSFGC) June Willard recognizing the 60 years of service by the Interlaaken club.
Chairman of the WSFGC Dorothy Dwyer, a WWII veteran herself, said the organization has placed over 50 of the Blue Star Markers, with over half in just the past two years. A garden club in the State of New Jersey originated the program in the 1940’s. She gave praise to the Washington State Department of Transportation for being “immensely cooperative with our endeavor.” In closing remarks Dwyer asked the attending audience to “keep the U. S. Military, on duty today, throughout the world, in your thoughts and prayers daily until they all come home.”
The Honor Guard of the Knights of Columbus posts the colors at the dedication ceremony presenting a Blue Star Marker to the City of Lakewood. The marker will be installed at the Gravelly Lake & Nyanza streets intersection at the entrance to the city near I-5 exit 124. Members of the Interlaaken Garden Club, who acquired the marker, stand for the Posting and the national anthem.
Chairman of the Washington State Federation of Garden Clubs Dorothy Dwyer, commenting on the history of the markers program, stands next to the Lakewood marker.
Sara Crumbe, District Deputy Director for Congressman Norm Dicks,’ presents a folded flag to Mayor Claudia Thomas as tribute to the contributions made by the Interlaaken Garden Club towards the quality of life in Lakewood.
The Honor Guard of the Knights of Columbus posts the colors at the dedication ceremony presenting a Blue Star Marker to the City of Lakewood.