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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

English Gardens’ Ladies Night is good for you and Forgotten Harvest

Operations Manager Jim Miller (RAY SKOWRONEK/THE MACOMB DAILY)
We all have events we look forward to every year, be it a summer fair or winter parade. A favorite among the girls I know who love decorating and shopping — or any excuse to hook up with friends during the week — are the Annual Ladies Night events hosted by English Gardens.

The soirees this year will be 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, in Clinton Township and Nov. 14 in Royal Oak.

Activities will include snacking, pampering and holiday decorating. By pampering, I’m sure they mean their staff will be prepared to answer as many questions as you might have. I live in an apartment, but I’ve always wanted to create a Christmas village scene. How can I do that with very little space? What’s the best way to decorate a tree, decorations first, lights last or the other way around?
 

“As for the holiday inspiration, attendees will have the chance to go to a variety of inspiration stations for ideas on ribbons and bow-making (or) floral and gift gardens,” says Chelsea Hancock, English Gardens marketing assistant.
 

Guests will also learn about holiday lighting trends. What’s the popular color of the year? Is there anything new? I remember being among the first homeowners in our neighborhood to have icicle lights, thanks to English Gardens. Another station will feature ideas for evergreen porch pots and fairy and miniature gardens. Attendees should know, however, they will not be making decorations to take home — they’ll take home ideas to make their own.
 

Why the $10 fee?
 

Because it is not only a fun night for you but 100 percent of the registration fee benefits Forgotten Harvest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to relieving hunger in our communities by donating surplus, prepared and perishable food to emergency food providers.
 

Here are a few facts just to give you an idea of the impact that this group has had in fighting hunger and waste in Michigan since 1990:
Forgotten Harvest rescued (as they refer to the prepared and perishable food collected by its trucks) 45.5 million pounds of food from more than 450 sources in the area. When it first started out in 1990, they may have only had a few restaurants and caterers who donated to the cause. I remember, shortly after they began, spending part of my day riding along in one of the trucks — which stopped at several bakeries — thinking what a great idea. Apparently a lot of people thought the same, because their sources grew to include grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, dairies, famers, wholesale food distributors and a host of other Health Department-approved locations. All of this donated food — which would otherwise go to waste — is then delivered free of charge to 280 emergency food providers in the Metro Detroit area.


During my ride-along we delivered our load to a shelter for women and children. On average, Forgotten Harvest transports more than 3 million pounds of rescued food each month to emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, children’s homes, senior centers and group homes. According to food industry standards, one pound of food equals one meal, so this is the equivalent of 45.5 million meals per year. And it’s not just Macomb County that benefits, but also Wayne and Oakland counties, too.
 

It’s hard to believe, but the Forgotten Harvest trucks cover 2,000 square miles to feed hungry people.
 



Ladies Night at English Gardens on Nov. 7 will be held at the Clinton Township store, 44850 Garfield Road. For preregistration call 586-286-6100. English Gardens' Ladies Night, Nov. 14 will be held at its Royal Oak store, 4901 Coolidge Highway. For preregistration call 248-280-9500. Hours for both nights are 6 to 9 p.m. To register online visit EnglishGardens.com.

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