Spring flower show returns in Amherst after pandemic shutdown 

  • Ann Clark, front, and Janine Kelly, both of Amherst, make floral arrangements in anticipation of a past Amherst Woman’s Club charity flower show. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Monday, March 21, 2022

AMHERST — The annual spring flower show put on by the Amherst Woman’s Club, among the first events to be called off when COVID-19 began to spread in the region, is being staged for the first time since 2019.

On Saturday, the nearly 129-year-old club, based at the 1864 Alice Maud Hills House at 35 Triangle St., is welcoming visitors to the event that has long served as a fundraiser and an opportunity for people to visit the historic clubhouse.

The sale of classic flower arrangements, evergreens, flowering shrubs, tulips, potted spring bulbs and other plants runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with admission $5, and cash or checks accepted for purchase of the flowers.

Money raised by the club goes toward scholarships for Amherst Regional High School seniors and grants to social service agencies, including the Amherst Boys and Girls Club, the Amherst Senior Center, Safe Passage and the Amherst Survival Center.

Amherst Woman’s Club member Senaida Bautista said the event is traditionally scheduled to coincide with the spring equinox, a way to mark the changing of the seasons.

“The flower show is one of our favorite events. It gives people an opportunity to visit the beautiful Hills Memorial Clubhouse, and it is a nice way to welcome spring,” Bautista said.

Stores participating in providing the flowers include Atkins Farms Country Market, Big Y Supermarket, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Gardener’s Supply Co., with flower and gift donations from members and friends.

Sarah Collette, from the floral department at Atkins, will be doing a flower arrangement presentation at 1 p.m. The event also includes tea, treats and a silent auction for a garden design consultation, and tickets will be sold for a quilt raffle on April 25.

The flower show comes after most club activities were held via Zoom for the past two years, and fundraisers and other social events were canceled. In addition, other sources of income, such as weddings, receptions and other events hosted at the site, have been scaled back.

The club’s history has included supporting a dental clinic for school children in 1924 and maintaining an employment agency during the Great Depression in the early 1930s.

Bautista, who joined the club after relocating from the Boston area, said she also hopes the event can begin reinvigorating the club by bringing awareness of it to a new generation of women through in-person functions where connections can be made. The club has 80 members, meeting twice monthly on Monday afternoons and once a month on Thursday evenings.

Those interested in learning more can send email to amherstwomansclub35triangle@gmail.com or call Susan Stern at 413-549-5679.

“This is an effort to build a community here,” Bautista said.