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Worthington Garden Club honors Award of Merit recipient

Pomrenke is a busy volunteer with the club.

Nancy Hofstee (left) presented Betty Pomrenke with the Worthington Garden Club Award of Merit Monday afternoon. Pomrenke joined the garden club in 2011 and has had many volunteer roles in the club.
Nancy Hofstee (left) presented Betty Pomrenke with the Worthington Garden Club Award of Merit Monday afternoon. Pomrenke joined the garden club in 2011 and has had many volunteer roles in the club.
Julie Buntjer / The Globe

WORTHINGTON — Betty Pomrenke is so involved in the Worthington Garden Club that it was no surprise when she volunteered to help select this year’s recipient of the Award of Merit.

Little did she know that all of her input — and that of the other committee members — was, well … not exactly for nothing. That individual will be honored next year.

Pomrenke was shocked, though, when her name was announced as this year’s honoree during the club’s May meeting on Monday afternoon.

The Worthington woman has been an avid club member since 2011, when she was finally retired and able to commit to the club meetings and events.

“My mother started a garden club many years ago in Iowa, and I was a member of that until we moved,” Pomrenke said. “I’ve always been involved in gardening.”

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Her passion is flower gardening. She leaves the tomato planting to her husband.

“It’s just kind of like therapy,” she said of growing her flowers. “It makes me feel good, tending and watering them.”

A frequent winner of purple ribbons and special honors for her flowers at the Nobles County Fair, Pomrenke also volunteers her time to oversee the floral division along with other garden club members.

She helps with the club’s annual plant sale —which is slated to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Centennial Park shelter — attends garden club conventions and Spring Fling, and previously served two years as secretary-treasurer of the local club.

“She is usually the photographer at our club events and maintains the club scrapbooks,” shared President Nancy Hofstee.

Pomrenke has also created floral centerpieces for the convention and will be embroidering the garden club’s logo on its new shirts thanks to her many talents with needle and thread.

Most gardeners have their favorite flower, and Pomrenke is no exception. Her favorite is the fan cockscomb.

“I have a picture of my grandmother with a big white basket of these fans cockscomb,” Pomrenke shared, noting that she was just a year old when her grandma died. Growing fans cockscomb is a family tradition, and each spring Pomrenke gets newly started seedlings from her niece, who operates a greenhouse up north, to share with garden club members.

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Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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