Membership

Members take advantage of opportunities at club meetings to practice and sharpen their flower arranging skills and knowledge of gardening. Members are informed about horticultural practices, environmental issues, and the significance of nature in our daily lives. Membership is comprised of Active, Sustaining, Nonresident, and Honorary members. 

Outreach

The club also participates in outreach projects in the Alexandria community and disburses funds to organizations that club members vote upon each year.

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Articles of Organization

Any changes to the Articles of Organization will be voted on by the membership of the Club. Changes will be proposed and discussed at one meeting and the voice vote will take place at the next meeting. A simple majority of members voting will constitute approval of the proposed change.

A complete list of membership responsibilities is available in the RHGC Articles of Organization.

Leadership Responsibilities

The officers of the Club shall consist of a President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer. The officers shall constitute the Board of Directors.

Nomination and Election of Officers
  • The Nominating Committee shall present nominations for the officer positions to the Club in April. The election and installation of officers shall be held in May.
  • Nominations from the floor will be accepted at the election in May.
  • Voting shall be by secret ballot if there is more than one candidate for any office.  An affirmative vote of 2/3 of those present and voting shall constitute an election.
  • If an officer resigns before the completion of her term, the Board of Directors shall appoint an officer to serve the remainder of the unfinished term.
President
  • Prepare meeting agendas each month and chair those meetings.
  • Communicate with club members via email or telephone about upcoming events, meeting reminders, etc.
  • Serve as coordinator of all club fundraisers and special events.
  • Prepare and coordinate all sign ups for committee assignments and hostesses for the upcoming year. Contact members who do not sign up to assign them to a committee and a meeting date. Make certain all meetings are fully staffed.
  • After all meeting locations and hostesses have been finalized, assign each member to a meeting as part of Exhibits Committee. Members cannot serve as a hostess and Exhibits Committee member in the same month.
  • Check with secretary and treasurer at the end of the year to make certain that all members have been attending meetings regularly and dues have been paid. If there are members who have been repeatedly absent, call them and discuss their future involvement with the club as an active member. Remind members that failure to pay dues will result in loss of membership.
  • Ensure that the Scheduling and Program Committees meet in a timely fashion to allow for preparation of the yearbook for the coming year.
  • Assist in preparation and distribution of annual yearbook. This includes verification of members’ correct personal information as well as all information regarding meetings, programs, schedule, etc. Proofread all text before printing. Ensure yearbook is distributed to members by late summer. Write a cover letter to accompany yearbook.
  • Review Constitution and by-laws and propose any changes to reflect new situations.
  • Consult with Executive Committee on winner of the Shomo Award.
  • Attend District II meetings when possible.
Vice President
  • Convene meeting of Program Committee as soon as possible in June to get program set for the next year.
  • Coordinate committee members calls to potential programs and finalize all programs as soon as possible in order to be ready for yearbook completion. Confirm fees for each speaker.
  • After finalizing program schedule in summer, send letter/email to each speaker to confirm date, time and location.
    Call speaker approximately two weeks before meeting to confirm location and see if speaker has any special requirements, e.g. slide projector, large table, etc. Inform hostess of these needs.
  • Notify Treasurer about fee for each month’s speaker so check can be issued.
  • Write thank-you note after meeting to the speaker.
  • Fill in for the President if she is absent for a meeting.
Exhibits Chair
  • Create new sign-in sheets for upcoming year, reflecting any changes in class for members. Make copies of the sign-in sheet for each month.
  • Supervise Exhibits Committee members. Call the lead person each month and remind them of their responsibilities and to make certain their committee is aware they are on duty.
  • Make certain the exhibits bag is at each month’s meeting.
  • Make certain there is an ample supply of ribbons for the coming year. Also make sure there is an ample supply of arrangement and horticulture identification slips.
  • Make certain that tables are taken down at the conclusion of each meeting and that tables and tablecloths are transported to the site of the next meeting.
  • Make certain the tables and tablecloths are set up at the meeting location, under the direction of the hostess, at least ½  hour before deadline for submission of entries.
  • Make certain exhibit points are correctly recorded in the sign-in book by Exhibits Committee member on duty.
  • Make sure that an Exhibits Committee member gives report at conclusion of each meeting informing members of judging results.
  • Tally points for each member at the end of the year. Determine winners of each division. Determine any changes in membership rank for the coming year based upon blue ribbons awarded.
  • Order award cups and cup for President and have them engraved and gift wrapped for presentation at September meeting.
    Provide Treasurer with list of club members owing fines for arrangements, horticulture, or both. This should be done in the summer so Treasurer can prepare notices of fines to accompany dues notices in September.
Exhibits Committee Member
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before exhibits deadline to assist in set up of tables and cloths
  • Remain in exhibits area to assist members in logging in their entries.
  • Once the judge has arrived, assist in recording ribbons awarded.
  • At conclusion of meeting, return to exhibits area and assist in take-down of tables. Help hostess for next month take the tables to her car.
Treasurer
  • Prepare dues notices for all members to be distributed at September meeting.
  • Record payment of dues and make timely bank deposits of checks received
  • Provide members with forms to receive reimbursements for club expenses.
  • Balance checkbook.
  • Prepare and give a monthly report on disbursements and assets.
  • Issue check to speaker at monthly meeting as per instructions of Vice President.
Secretary

Recording Secretary

  • Take minutes at monthly meetings.
  • Prepare minutes and distribute to membership via email.
  • Take attendance at monthly meetings.
Corresponding Secretary
  • Send notes to club members as requested by President.
Categories of Membership

Membership is comprised of Active, Sustaining, Nonresident, and Honorary members.

Active members are those who attend and participate in the regular meetings and activities of the Club.  Active members may vote, hold elective office, sponsor or co-sponsor candidates for membership, and compete in intra-club shows.  Active members pay the active dues rate.

The active membership shall be limited to thirty-five (35), except when increased by the return of Nonresident or Sustaining members to Active status.  If, however, the total number of Active members exceeds thirty-five (35) due to the return of such members, or any other Club approved circumstances, the next vacancies will not be filled until the total Active membership falls below thirty-five (35).

Active members may request a temporary leave of absence for a maximum of one (1) year.  During this leave of absence, she will pay dues at the Active member rate, but will be excused from all other obligations of Active membership.

Active members can request Sustaining status after being an Active member for at least five (5) years.  If an Active member wishes to change her status to Sustaining, she should inform the Membership chairman in writing no later than April of the year prior to her intended change.

Sustaining members have the privilege of attending regular meetings of the Club but are ineligible to vote, hold elective office, sponsor or co-sponsor candidates for membership, or compete in intra-club shows.  Sustaining members pay the sustaining dues rate.

Nonresident members are those members from either the active or sustaining list who leave the area and request nonresident status.  They are not required to pay annual dues.  Upon their return to the area, they may request reinstatement to Active status.

Honorary members are members who have paid dues to the Club for a minimum of thirty-five (35) years.  Honorary members are exempt from dues but have the privileges of Sustaining membership status.

Upon the death of a member of Red Hill, the Club will donate $100 to the “Garden Calm” area at the American Horticultural Society property, River Farm.

Upon the death of a spouse or a member of the immediate family, the Corresponding Secretary will send a written sympathy note to the Club member.

Committees

The permanent committees shall include Civic Project, Conservation, Disbursements/Philanthropy, Exhibits, Historian, Horticulture, Judges, Membership, Nominating, Program, Rep to District II, Schedule, Ways and Means, Yearbooks/Website Editors, and Yearbook Distribution. The Club may establish special committees as necessary for projects or special events.

The Membership Committee will be composed of three  members.

The Nominating Committee shall present nominations for the officer positions to the Club in April. The election and installation of officers shall be held in May.

  • Nominations from the floor will be accepted at the election in May.
  • Voting shall be by secret ballot if there is more than one candidate for any office.  An affirmative vote of 2/3 of those present and voting shall constitute an election.
  • If an officer resigns before the completion of her term, the Executive Committee shall appoint an officer to serve the remainder of the unfinished term.
New Members

Nomination of New Members

All Active members are encouraged to nominate candidates for membership.  Members should take care to nominate individuals who share the general interests of the Club and who want to be involved participants in monthly meetings, activities, and duties.  It is the responsibility of the sponsoring club member to fully inform a prospective member of the obligations of membership before submitting her written nomination to the Membership Committee. Once a new member has been elected, it is the responsibility of her sponsors and the Membership Committee to mentor and nurture her to ensure her full participation in Club activities.

A new member must be nominated in writing by a letter sent to the Membership Committee, signed by one Active member as the sponsor and a second Active member as the co-sponsor.  Active members may only sponsor or co-sponsor one candidate for membership during the Club year.  No member of the Membership Committee may sponsor or co-sponsor a candidate.  A member may not sponsor or co-sponsor a candidate until she herself has been an Active member for at least one year.

Upon receipt of a letter of nomination, the Membership Committee will read the letter at the next Club meeting.  If the Active membership is full at 35 members, the nomination will be placed on a Waiting List in order of the date received.  Throughout the year, the Membership Committee will keep the Active membership informed of the names and numbers of nominating letters that are being held on the Waiting List.  Sponsors of prospective new members should monitor the continued interest of their candidates and inform the Membership Committee if the interest of the prospective member changes during her time on the Waiting List.

When a vacancy in the Active membership occurs, the Membership Chair will confirm with the first person on the Waiting List that she is prepared to join. If that person is no longer interested in membership, she will be removed from the Waiting List and may be re‐nominated through the normal process.

Election of New Members

When a vacancy has occurred and the candidate on the Waiting List has confirmed her desire to join the Club, her letter of Nomination will be read at the next Club meeting and any discussions about the candidate will take place at this time. The vote on the candidate will then take place electronically before the next monthly Club meeting. An affirmative vote of a simple majority of the Active membership is required to elect a candidate to membership. Once a new member has been elected, the Membership Committee chair shall invite the new member to attend the next scheduled meeting of the Club.

Membership Requirements
  • Pay annual membership dues – currently $75 for Active members and $35.00 for Sustaining members. Any member of either category who fails to pay her annual dues after receipt of a written notice and one phone call will be removed from the roll of Club membership at the end of the Club year.
  • Attend meetings regularly and promptly. The Club will hold nine regular meetings during the year and attendance of Active members is expected. At the end of each garden club year, the Secretary will provide the President with an attendance report. An Active member will be removed from the roll of Club membership after two unexcused absences in any Club year. Excused absences are granted when a member conveys her inability to attend a meeting to a hostess in a prompt and timely manner.  If a member has three or more excused absences in a Club year, the President will talk with that member to remind her of her absences and encourage her to resume more active membership.
  • Send regrets to hostess as soon as possible in advance of the meeting when unable to attend in order to obtain an excused absence. Sustaining members will notify the hostess as soon as possible if they plan to attend a meeting. Bring at least three arrangements and earn seven points in horticulture each Club year or pay the required fines. The fines are currently $35 for arrangements and $25 for horticulture.
  • Serve on the Exhibits Committee one meeting each year.
  • Serve on one committee, in addition to the Exhibits Committee.
  • Serve as a hostess or co-hostess each year.
  • As a sponsor or co-sponsor, support your new member throughout her first year of membership.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Articles of Organization, as well as regulations governing Club arrangements and horticulture.
  • Support Club projects.
Meetings

Regular meetings of the Club will be held at a specific time each month except for June, July and August. The President and two members of the Board of Directors may call a special meeting at any time. View the Schedule page for upcoming meeting dates.

Class Level/Ribbons

Class levels are Novice, Junior, Senior, or Advanced Senior.

All new members enter as Novices with the exception of returning active members and new members from other garden clubs will be demoted from their former rank by one class.

At the conclusion of the garden club year, the Exhibits Committee will add up the points each member has earned during that year and determine who is eligible to move up to a higher class. The Exhibits Committee will also determine which members have not brought in the minimum number of arrangements for the year and will give the list to the Treasurer so that the appropriate fines can be levied at the September meeting.

In order to move up from one class to another (Novice to Junior, Junior to Senior, Senior to Advanced Senior), members must receive two blue ribbons in their class during one club year. Once a member attains a higher class level, she will not be demoted to a lower class. Failure to bring in the minimum number of arrangements will result in fines, not demotion of class. Point totals are kept in order to determine the overall winners in each class. Those members from each class with the highest point total shall receive an award at the September meeting. Only members who have entered at least three arrangements (the required minimum) shall be eligible for an award.

Ribbons have the following values:

15 points: Blue
10 points: Red
5 points: Yellow
2 points: Honorable

Arrangement Requirements

All active members, regardless of their class, must enter three arrangements during the club year. New members are required to enter one arrangement for every four months that they are members. An active member failing to bring the required number of arrangements during the year will pay a fine of $35.00. The President of the club shall be exempt from this requirement during her term of office.

A member may exhibit not more than two arrangements per meeting; i.e., one in her designated class and one in the Open competition in which all members compete on an equal basis. To be judged, exhibits must be in place 15 minutes prior to the scheduled judging time.

A maximum of one arrangement made for an outside, club approved, civic activity will be counted as one of the three arrangements a member is required to bring in each year, provided the member actually made the arrangement herself and the club received notification from the sponsoring organization. Those members assisting by gathering flowers or transporting the arrangement cannot credit those activities toward the minimum club requirements of three arrangements. Such activities are encouraged and will be weighed when awarding the Shomo Award.

When a hostess makes an arrangement for a club meeting, she will receive credit for that arrangement, though it will not be eligible for judging unless it complies with the schedule for that month’s arrangement.

View the Exhibits page for further detailed requirements.

"Red Hill Garden Club is my 'passion.' Every time I get a new calendar our monthly meetings are the first thing I thing I mark on it! I love the congenial members, the interesting programs about everything from bees to floral design presentations, not to mention the fun and the challenge of creating arrangements every month in hopes of winning a blue ribbon." RHGC Member