Garden Club receives help from school elves

For almost 30 years, the Enumclaw Garden Club has been decorating the Christmas tree at the Enumclaw Senior Activity Center.

This year, the ladies received additional help from a group of Westwood Elementary School elves. The kindergarten through fifth-grade students at the Enumclaw school helped Enumclaw Garden Club members paint and glaze 300 ornaments to hang on the tree.

Garden club member Sylvia Neth and Westwood teacher Liz Walsh coordinated the effort.

For the past three years, Neth, a retired Enumclaw High School art teacher, has provided an art class for Westwood students. Funding for that program ran dry this year, so Neth rallied her Garden Club friends to keep the program going – with a twist.

“Liz and I were talking and thought it’s a shame not to have people see the work the kids do,” Neth said. It would also be nice to do something for the community, both thought.

Starting in July, Garden Club members purchased the clay, then rolled, cut, cleaned and fired it into reindeer, trees, gingerbread men and candy canes. When school started, the ornaments made their way to Westwood where they were detailed by the older students and received a final clear coat of glaze from the younger students. Participation was optional, but Neth said about 10 classrooms took part.

The tree at the senior center went up the first day of December and with great care Garden Club members hung the colorful ornaments on its boughs.

The students were unable to attend the decorating session, but Neth is hoping they get to stop by and admire their handiwork.

After the holiday, when the tree comes down, “The kids get to keep their ornaments,” said Neth, who made sure each had a classroom number and student identification on the back.

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