OCEAN RESORTS BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE - 1992 - 2005
My husband, Ralph, and I retired to Ocean Resorts in January of 1992. I wanted to get involved and joined the Beautification Committee that was chaired by Ann King. That was the year that I recommended that we make homemade potato salad for our Chicken Barbeque fund-raiser. For the next few years, we made our grandmother's recipe in my kitchen until the new kitchen was built in the Clubhouse. This, of course, was a committee effort. When Ann retired from the Chairmanship, I agreed to fill her position along with my sister Shirl, who was always my right-hand woman. I stayed in that position until I moved away from Ocean Resorts in 2005.
Over that period of time, we successfully reached many goals for beautifying our park. I would like to add: The money raised by the chicken barbecue and other fund raisers, paid in full for the accomplishments, listed below.
1. Removed the old cement pond on the first island and provided all new landscaping, including shrubs trees, cement tables and benches. At a later date, we added the fountain.
2. After much discussion with the Board, we paid to have the ugly fence and the propane tank removed and had a smaller tank put in the storage area. We then landscaped the entire second island.
3. The Board proposed to place a newspaper- recycling bin behind the store/office building that we did not agree with since we just completed the first two islands. After much discussion with the Board, we agreed to have the bin placed in the storage area.
4. In addition, our entire committee, plus other volunteers painted the outside of the Clubhouse. We landscaped around the Clubhouse with Hibiscus trees.
5. We paid for a new flagpole near our entrance, which is still standing.
6. The vinyl fence around the pool was paid for by Beautification.
7. The entrance way was landscaped with new shrubs.
8. One of our largest projects was beautifying the east side of AlA on the ocean side of the street. New palm trees, shrubs and sod were planted as well as the entire area enlarged going south on AlA, including going down the boardwalk.
9. From the donations received in honor of my husband, Ralph, we made the Manatee, Dolphin and Memorial gardens.
10. The committee contributed Christmas tree lights, etc.
I would like to thank everyone that worked on our Committee. We scheduled weeding dates every month. We did all of the Christmas decorating. All of the above was possible because we worked together.
Again, I sincerely want to thank everyone that worked on our Committee and I have wonderful memories of those years.
OCEAN RESORTS BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE 2005-2009
Dot Crissey's decision to relocate following Ralph's sudden death was understandable. She approached
me to replace her with the understanding that Claudia Woodhouse would share in the transition. With time, cooperation,
encouragement and a common goal amongst members, it would eventually fall into place. Gardening was a hobby that
Jim and I enjoyed and took pride in at our northern home with Claudia's love of the same, we would make it work.
First on the agenda was to plan and organize
a "Farewell Luncheon" in honor of Dot and Shirley. The "surprise" was held at the Patio Restaurant.
The attendance of about twenty people, great food, and stories of the past, gifts and many tears later, it was deemed a success.
Claudia became the Treasurer and Secretary (she wrote, I typed.) Following the removal of the outdoor Christmas decorations with Claudia‘s direction, our first meeting got underway. Our "Walk in the Park" began with everyone breaking up into groups and going in different directions to evaluate and suggest what needed attention....the devastation caused by the hurricanes of 2004, provided a simple guide:
Replace the twisted flagpole and plantings at the Post Office.
Replace the downed cocoanut tree at Ocean Resort's main entrance.
Add some color and warmth to the pool with potted plants.
Add plants to the front of the soon to be installed vinyl fence along A1A. The destruction of the hedge was created by the horrendous sustained winds, again from the hurricane.
The proceeds from the 2003 Chicken dinner, (2004 was cancelled) contributions from residents and the profits from the 2005 Chicken dinner afforded us the opportunity to follow through with our plans.
The preparations for the dinner were somewhat of a new experience for new members including myself. "We always do it this way" rang throughout the Club House from former members with new members feeling frustrated. Somehow all 350 people were served, tempers had cooled down for some and other members decided it was too much endure and never returned. Even though there were skeptical moments, all of the above became a reality and we were on our way.
With each year, changes did occur. The dinners became easier, the expectations and a rhythm were put into place. New members, and lots of help from the former members, came together to form fresh ideas, new friendships and more energy to our accomplishments. We even successfully moved the entire dinner inside the clubhouse due to a monstrous rainstorm while some stood by saying "this will never work!" There is merit to the wise words:
"If you don't change, you keep making the same mistakes,"
"There is always more than one way to do everything."
Our first adventure was to sponsor a lecture, desserts and coffee to a more than a full house. Our guest speaker was Tommy Thompson, the son of one of our neighbors, Phyllis Thompson. He shared his story of youthful dreams, inventions, resourcefulness as well as his discoveries and adventures in the Deep Blue Sea. The avenues and abilities that led him to accomplish so much at such a young age were startling.
Shortly thereafter, we ordered a flag pole for the Post Office and transformed the area into a new and larger Memorial Garden. Again, the hurricanes took its anger out on the original garden. A flower garden surrounds the area which is enhanced by a podium that was designed, built and donated by Canadian residents David and Bonnie Clark. Its' plaque reads:
When flying at half mast,
This flag pays deep respect
For the passing of a
Current or former resident
Of Ocean Resorts.
The flag is flown at half mast for three days in honor of the deceased. Information regarding the name of the deceased and arrangements for services is placed inside the glass enclosed podium.
Fourteen trees were planted to replace those that were damaged by hurricanes on the islands along Angelfish Drive as well as on the east side of the boardwalk leading to the beach.
Palm trees have been planted in the front and side of the Post Office.
Palm trees have been planted along the south edge of the pool and an irrigation system has been installed.
A contribution to the speaker system in the Club House was made.
A contribution to the Island Times Newsletter was given.
The flowers in the window boxes that are located at the Management Office and Post Office are replanted each season.
The anchor has been restored and placed on the eastern side of A1A. The anchor dates back to the 1800's.
Annual donations to the Christmas and Easter festivities are made.
A new 9' Christmas tree will be the focal point for the 2008 Christmas light up night. New lights at the management building and along the entrance will be displayed.
There is no question as to where you are when arriving at Ocean Resorts....Thirty three Adonidia Palm Trees along our fence on A1A are standing at attention to greet you. They are double trunked, full and deep green. They will continue to enhance our entrance for years to come and are noticed by all. A great crew got them planted and watered them for weeks to get them off to a good start.
None of the above could have been accomplished without the help of our committee members who give so much time, effort and enthusiasm to our cause. Included are the men who plant and fertilize trees and flowers, help with the cooking, non members who roast the chickens, residents who make monetary contributions and attend our functions and the staff of Ocean Resorts who support us by making sure our needs are met with regard to microphones, chairs, equipment and cooperation.
We are looking forward to contributing and assisting in the organization of the new kitchen to be completed in 2009. Suggestions are always welcome as are newcomers.
To those who have supported us in the past, we thank you.
To those who attend our functions, we thank you.
And to those of who were so active and are no longer with us,
We miss and remember you.
"The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow!"
Join us and let your presence be known,
By every tree you help plant,
By every flower you water,
By every minute you give,
Be proud of yourself!
Take pride in our community!
We are proud to know and work with you!