About Us - History
1920s & 1930s
In April of 2007, new and multicolored tropical threads were woven into our TGC Historical Tapestry at the 79th Convention held in South Padre Island, as Judy Keillor became TGC's 39th President. A testimony of Judy's Garden Club dedication was her theme "Living the Challenge, Let's get Growing". We learned to understand what her theme meant, for she taught us that any challenge if met with a smile, could become a reality. In her inaugural speech, she pledged to continue TGC campaign for increasing membership and to encourage the love of gardening in the State of Texas, reminding us to have fun in our Garden Clubs. Judy surprised us by immediately having at hand colorful bumper stickers for sale: "Flower Power, Texas Garden Club".
With no delay, President Keillor began enhancing the Garden Club image by cultivating additional memberships. New Youth clubs, men's evening Garden Clubs, Plant Societies, Master Gardeners and any others who share a love for gardening were invited to join TGC, Inc. This membership campaign resulted in adding ten new Clubs and ten new Affiliates, boosting the total membership of Garden Club members in Texas to 11,996 by 2009. During her presidency, numerous members received National and State Scholarships; likewise several Garden Clubs were recipients of National Grants.
To further maintain and nourish the membership Judy became an advocate of NGC, Inc. Schools, inviting the members to broaden their horticultural and design knowledge. She herself attended all the schools throughout her tenure. A most significant contribution in the field of education was the new partnership established with Dr. Novak and A&M University to launch the reinstallation of the Gardening Studies Schools in Texas. In the field of education, an important addition was having Anna Archer and Linda Whetsell begin to study to become new Flower Show Schools Instructors.
Judy Keillor promoted Seed of Life World Gardening project to become a TGC Program. Since 2004 SFL successfully provided seeds and monetary donations to Africa, Iraq, Central and Latin America and obtaining a NGC, Inc. award for a publication done in partnership with A&M Borlaug Institute for a Visual Design Manual for women of the Guatemalan highlands.
Important and time-consuming functions of this administration were the actions taken concerning an essential revision and change to the Bylaws, Standing Rules and Policy. An elected committee successfully served and provided a necessary update to our organization. Two new awards were added to TGC Award Manual; the Garden Tour Award and the Pocket Garden Award. Chosen as Garden members of the year were Joyce Cochran and Sudie Blackburn.
TGC members receiving National honors during this period were Rene Blaschke, installed as NGC, Inc. President; Linda Whetsell, installed as South Central Region Director, Sue Durret, Pat Graber and Guynieth Priem for the organization of the NGC, Inc. 2009 Convention in Houston, Judy Schafer receiving the National Award of Excellence at SCR and NGC, Inc. Nell Denman, Lucy Hendy, Jim Johnson and Trevor McGuire, winner of the National High School Speech Contest, also received presidential citations. Also honored was The State of Texas with two new affliliations to NGC, Inc., the Grapevine Botanical Garden and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Auistin, a treasured landmark that honors Lady Bird Johnson; First Lady and a champion of the beautification of America.
TGC members have honored President Judy Keillor with ten unique pocket gardens planted at our Headquarters. Each garden has plants and trees representative of those that grow in the ten districts of Texas Garden Clubs, Inc. Judy Keillor guided us well during her term as president. Her theme of Living the Challenge encouraged us and resulted in growth of our organization.