On Jan. 13, the Lake Country Master Gardener Association (LCMGA) named its annual award winners. Morgan County’s own Jewell Hatcher was given the Master Gardener of the Year.

Hatcher is the founding member of the Plant a Row for the Hungry program, which has garnered huge success in the county. While still in master gardener training Hatcher heard about the program and decided this would be a project she could join her love of helping others and her passion of gardening. She applied for certification and several monetary grants and started the project giving out veggies from the back of her SUV. Over the last three years her project has grown to include many civic, religious and school organizations that provide workers and lots of home-grown produce for the disadvantaged of Morgan County. Along the way other MG’s and local farmers have also joined her in this project. The LCMGA is so proud to have such a dedicated member in our group. Hatcher exemplifies what master gardening is all about and we are so proud of her endeavors.

Another Morgan County resident was named Volunteer of the Year. Dick Whelan is active in educating the public and participates tirelessly with numerous projects. His time is taken up with the Morgan County Extension Office Demonstration Gardens, the Steffon Thomas Museum, the Morgan County Library, Madison Morgan Memorial Garden, the Morgan County Plant a Row for the Hungry and is an avid supporter of 4-H.

Whelan can always be counted on to answer the call for any gardening project. Whelan has even passed his passion on to his daughter, who reside in the Atlanta area and is a Master Gardener. LCMGA is so proud to have Whelan as a member.

Greene County resident Sherry Deaton was also named Volunteer of the Year. Deaton received her Master Gardener certification in 2003 starting out in DeKalb County where she was project manager of the Stone Mountain Caboose. She moved to Greene County in 2005 and has proven herself to be a tireless worker. Some of her many projects include The Circle of Love, Greene County High School Stadium planter box, beautification of the Liberty community and her own subdivision, Double Branches. Her dedication to the community is evident in other areas as she also volunteers at Greene County High School.

The LCMGA meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Peoples Bank. To become a Master Gardener please contact the Putnam County Extension Office at 706-485-4151.

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