Volunteers blossom at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens | VailDaily.com

Volunteers blossom at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Carolyn Pope Special to the Daily
Carolyn Pope/Special to the DailyGreta Blamire, Scott Winter and Nicola Ripley.

Some 15 years ago, Helen Fritch was heading back home to Vail from Denver when she saw a familiar face on the side of the road, between Georgetown and Silver Plume.

She pulled over when she realized the man had car problems, so she offered him a lift back home. During that hour-long drive, Marty Jones shared his dream with her – to create a garden that would inspire those who visit with its beauty, to educate aspiring gardeners and offer a place of solace and meditation.

Cissy Dobson invited those with the desire to help to her home, and, after some brainstorming, the dream turned into reality, and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens took root and began to grow.

The nonprofit gardens rely on their volunteers, whether it be to monitor rare plants, construct footbridges, provide docent services to guests or man the gift shop.

Last week, the volunteers were treated to a breakfast at the home of Bruce and Helen Beckwith. The ladies and gents have different reasons for throwing their gardening gloves into the ring.

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Current president, June Vanourek, said, “I love flowers. I always want to give back to the community, and it seemed like a good place to start. Before I knew it, I was on the board.”

“The people are wonderful,” added Fritch. “Many have been with the gardens for several years.”

Today, the gardens have blossomed into what was envisioned long ago.

“The gardens are a jewel in the Vail Valley,” Fritch said. “People need to be aware of what they have to offer.”

Volunteers at the event included board members Anne Rainey, Jacki Allen-Benson, Amy Phillips, Gwen Scalpello, Frank Barborek and Bill Stufflebeem.

For more information regarding volunteer opportunities at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, please call 970-476-0103 or visit their Website at http://www.bettyfordalpinegardens.org.

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