Letter: Petunia Parade

November 16, 2012

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Members of the Ludington Petunia Parade committee wish to thank the many volunteers who participated in planting and maintaining our petunias during the 2012 season. Because of their commitment, the petunias were beautiful this year. We received numerous compliments from community members, as well as visitors, who appreciated the “parade of color” along our avenue, boulevards, and marina. The petunias have become part of Ludington’s identity – an image that remains in our hearts and minds throughout the year.

Regretfully, we are not sure how much longer we can continue this 25-year tradition, which was originally the dream of Ellery and Sue Sabin. Without increased manpower, as well as funding from private citizens, industries, and businesses within our community, this program will be in jeopardy. The total cost of the petunia project for the 2012 planting season was $ 14,000.00. Our investment through the Community Foundation for Mason County provides approximately $ 5,000.00. Consequently, we will need to rely on donations for the remaining balance to cover necessary expenditures (petunias, soil conditioner, maintenance of watering truck, fuel, storage facility rental, mailings and soil replacement for some areas).

Our program is supported entirely by volunteer efforts. We struggle each year to fin people who are willing to make this commitment. The advisory committee is comprised of nine volunteers from Ludington, Pentwater, Scottville, and Walhalla. They meet throughout the year to evaluate, plan and purchase petunias for the upcoming season. Prior to planting day several volunteers tills the planting beds. A crew of volunteers is responsible for dividing and delivering the flats of petunias to their designated blocks, as well as gathering and composting the plants after the pulling date. Each block has a captain, who is responsible for enlisting a crew of people to plant, weed, and care for the plants on their particular block. Volunteers drive the watering truck along Ludington Avenue during the morning and evening hours to hydrate the petunias. Safety cones are distributed and collected by volunteers before and after each monthly community weeding day. Volunteers work “behind the scenes.” The success of our program depends on these people. Additional volunteers would be greatly appreciated.

We appeal to the citizens of Ludington and Mason County to assist in our effort to keep the Ludington Petunia Parade alive in 2013. Monetary donations, in the form of check or money order, may be directed to:

Ludington Petunia Parade Committee
Donna Brown, Chairperson
PO Box 5
Ludington, MI 49431.

We are grateful for your support.

Ludington Petunia Parade Committee

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