Pat Mackes of Effort, couldn't have been more shocked and if you had told her she had just won a contest on an international level.

Oh wait. She DID win a contest on an international level.

The look on her face was priceless when Andrea Hauck, a member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs chapter Pocono Mountain Women's Club, chairman/chairwoman for the Arts at the Monroe County level and also the chair for the State President's Project, presented the GFWC Western Pocono Women's Club member with the award at the Club's August meeting.

"I had to come to this meeting so I could personally make the announcement and present Pat with the award. It is just so exciting," said Andrea.

Pat had entered a beautiful colored photograph of several of the WPWC members working on the flower garden located in the triangle between Rt. 209 and old 115 outside Brodheadsville in the club's annual Arts and Crafts Contest. She entered it in the GFWC Volunteers in Action category. Pat's photo won 1st place which entitled it to be entered in the County level, earning a 1st, which entitled it to go on to the District level, winning 1st there. Then it was entered in the State contest where it placed 1st which advanced it to the International level, competing against all GFWC clubs within the United States and internationally.

Pat said, "This is the reward for all the women who work so very hard on that triangle."

She received certificates and a monetary award, as well as having her photograph included in the new GFWC brochure.

The GFWC Western Pocono Women's Club sponsors an Adopt and Beautify project through Penn Dot.

"It was once a weedy intersection and we turned the area into a four-bed flower garden," says Pat.

For their 284-volunteer hr. project, the Club received very special recognition. Last year they were the proud recipients of the Community Greening Award presented by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. The flower garden was among 80 sites nominated throughout Pennsylvania. Judges came to visit the site in August and they were informed in September that they had won. Two club members and their spouses were invited to Philadelphia for the awards ceremony in November. They received a medal sign to display in the garden along with a beautifully framed certificate.

Judging was based on variety of plants, suitability of plants, horticultural practice, maintenance, color, design, and use of space. Pat says the judges were impressed with the fact that they were able to maintain the garden without resources such as water or electricity at the site. They liked their choice of flowers that attract the butterflies and bees. The fact that the garden was so well groomed and maintained by constant weeding, mowing, watering (which has to be hauled to the site), clipping/trimming and mulching was also a factor in their decision.

"We adopted this site from PennDot in 2003 and have planted perennials as well as annuals throughout the years. We have a variety of blooms from spring time through the fall. Each year we plant hundreds of annuals for summertime blooms. During the fall, we add an autumn-themed display and in the month of December we decorated a Christmas tree," says Pat.

Work at the gardens is scheduled as needed from April thru October.

Pat says that this year the gals were proud to have Jake Percey, a Pleasant Valley High School senior, chose their project as his 50-hour Community Service Senior Project this past year.

"What a great kid," she says.

"Maintaining the gardens is a huge task but our satisfaction is that we turned a weedy, invasive plant site into a beautiful garden with four beds of blooms. Passing motorists enjoy the site and give us a 'thumbs up' or 'job well done' shout when we're working there. Our efforts are recognized, not only by our recent award but by our community residents who appreciate our garden," she says.

If anyone is interested in joining the Western Pocono Women's Club, please contact president Vicki Connor at 570-977-4303 email jconnor@ptd.net