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Special Events

Special Recognition

 Gardeners’ Club Scholarship Awards for 2020 Academic Year was coordinated and selected by Heather Bloom of Cabrillo Horticulture and Bill Patterson of The Gardener's Club. The Gardener’s Club is proud of its tradition giving scholarships to students studying horticulture to support them in their studies. These scholarships has been in honor of departed members dear to us, Virginia Saso, Patty Connole and Pat Williams. We had looked forward to a meeting celebrating the recipients of the awards this year, but given the circumstances we cannot gather to do so. But here are profiles of the two outstanding Horticulture students at Cabrillo College who are honored by the Gardeners Club with scholarships of $500 each. They are Henry Spaulding and Pat Broderick.

2020 Cabrillo Scholarship Award
Henry Spaulding

Henry Spaulding is Cabrillo’s student hydroponic blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and blackberry grower, “a great student and good friend to all,” says Heather Blume, Nursery & Garden Manager Horticulture Department/ Cabrillo College. Henry shares,“I was born here in Santa Cruz. My dad has worked in horticulture and agriculture all my life, and growing up visiting mushroom facilities, berry fields, and wherever else my dad was working always interested me. We also had a garden for many years, and we continue to grow things together at his new house, and I can do my own thing at my moms house! I love berries, and possibly due to the extended amount of time I spend with them: they’re my favorite! If I had to choose just one it would probably be strawberry, but I’m hoping to get more experience with more exotic fruits as well. My favorite class I’ve taken so far is probably hydroponics, and my favorite non-academic class is ceramics. I really love hydroponics and aquaponics, and all the interesting things I get to do at the horticulture center. I need to do a little more schedule structuring before I know when I’ll graduate, but I’m much more excited to work toward my degree and future since I got the job at the horticulture center. I have already learned so much just tending the berries, I can’t wait to dive further into horticulture!!”
Henry Spaulding
2020 Cabrillo Scholarship Award
Pat Broderick

Heather says, “Pat Broderick is such a gem! He has been our hydroponic tomato grower, a student so focused, he actually took on-line courses before he took his algebra and chemistry courses so he would be prepared. I hadn't seen anyone do that before. And his tomatoes taste better than any other crop we've ever grown. Yummy. “ Patrick shares, “I grew up in Virginia near Washington DC. I have always been somewhat of a plant enthusiast, and I started rooftop gardening when I was living in New York about ten years ago. I bought a baby pool from Toys 'R' Us, researched how to grow veggies in it, and it was surprisingly easy! Almost everywhere I’ve lived since then I have set up some sort of little garden. My favorite was a mini garden on a fire escape with cucumbers growing up the handrails and watermelons on the steps. My favorite class at Cabrillo is definitely Hydroponics! I am fascinated by hydroponics and aquaponics. I would love to someday set up a system that could provide affordable local produce to urban communities that are considered food deserts. I probably won't be using baby pools though! My current plan is to transfer to CSUMB to study plant biology.”
Pat Broderick

2019 Cabrillo Scholarship Awards
From left to right: Cassandra Windju, Heather Bloom & Bill Patterson, Dan Sleeper.

Heather Bloom, curator at Cabrillo Hort. presented Cabrillo Horticulture students Cassandra and Dan with The Gardeners’ Club $500 scholarships at the April 11, 2019 meeting. Bill Patterson is the Scholarship Chair of The Gardeners’ Club.

2019 Pat Williams Scholarship Award

Chloe Anderson of Watsonville High received the $500 scholarship from The Gardeners’ Club in memory of Pat Williams, on April 11, 2019

The $500 scholarships awarded to Watsonville High school student Julie Avila (2nd from right with her dad, Frank Avila and teacher, Paulina Correia) was presented by Marcia Meyer (left front) in memory of Pat Williams.

Cabrillo College Horticulture students Sarah Stephens (left-front holding certificate) Mary Vogel (also holding certificate) & Jerry Liggins (unable to attend) $500 scholarships were presented by Heather Blume (center-back) & Peter Shaw (left-back), and 2015 former recipient Rachel Golden (center) in the memory of Virginia Saso and Patty Connole. Thanks to our Scholarship liaison Bill Patterson (shoe in right lower corner) for creating the certificates.

Patty Connole

In the summer of 2016 our beloved member, Patty, passed away.  Her name was added to the Viginia Sasso award this year.
Cabrillo College recipients: Kristin Fleming (left) and Jamie Bossio (2nd from left), Horticulture with Bill Patterson (back)

Daisy Avila, Watsonville High (2nd from left) and
Aaliyah Wilson (right), Costanoa High with Marcia Meyer (back)



Heather Blume (top left), the Nursery & Garden Curator at Cabrillo Horticulture introduced students Kelly McWilliams (left) & Parvati Brown (right) and Suzanne Caron (top right) of The Gardeners Club presented them each a $300 scholarship award at the June 9th meeting.


The Gardeners’ Club provided one High School Senior and two Cabrillo College students demonstrating an interest in a career in horticulture/agriculture with $300 scholarships. The high school award honors Pat Williams, our dear friend and garden club member who died in Dec. 2014. 

The other scholarship awards are granted at the behest of the Gardeners' Club general membership.

This year's Pat Williams recipient is:
Jonathan Nunez Esquivel - Watsonville High School

Scholarship Awards recipients are:
Parvati Brown - Cabrillo College
Kelly McWilliams - Cabrillo College
Pat Williams
Pat Williams


In April the Gardeners’ Club awarded a $300 scholarship in the memory of the late Pat Williams to Jonathan Nunez-Esquivel, who was nominated by his Watsonville High School FAA advisor Paulina Correia and selected in a process involving the ROP program, County Office of Education and The Farm Bureau with The Gardeners’ Club liaison, Marcia Meyer. Jonathan received the award at the April 14th meeting with his family & teacher in attendance.

Tryston Cruz 2015

The Gardeners’ Club provided two High School Seniors demonstrating an interest in a career in horticulture/agriculture with $300 scholarships.

On the left, Tryston Cruz from Coast Redwood High School, recipient of the 2015 scholarship in honor of Pat Willams.

On the right, Yuritza Aciga from Watsonville High School, recipient of the 2015 scholarship in honor of Pat Williams.

Scholarship Awards 2015


Scholarship Awardees, Cabrillo College students Laura Palmer and Rachel Golden at the Gardeners’ Club Scholarship Awards April 9, 2015.  Presenters, Kathy Navarez (holding flowers), Andrew Wall (baseball cap) and Peter Shaw (center back) with Club President Cherry Thompson and Scholarship Chair Bill Patterson (left).


Our Most Extraordinaire Award and Lifetime Membership for Thirty-seven Years of Inspirational Leadership

See a close-up of the award.

This was a surprise for Melita.  When she entered our January meeting she had no idea she was to receive this special award.  More about her and photos of her garden can be seen on page 4 in the August 2013 Newsletter.
The Virginia Sasso Award

The Board of Directors established the VIRGINIA SASO $100 AWARD at their July 26, 2010 meeting, to be awarded annually.  The recipient will be determined by the Board.

This award was established in 2010 to honor local herbologist, Virginia Saso.  Many local area gardeners and landscape professionals were former interns at the internationally known Saso Herb Garden in Saratoga, which Virginia Saso co-owned with her husband Louis before the couple retired to Santa Cruz county. The Gardeners' Club meets the second Thursday of each month at the Aptos Grange.


The Gardeners' Club Scholarship Chairperson, Bill Patterson (left) and Peter Shaw of the Cabrillo College Horticulter (right) are shown flanking the 3 Cabrillo Horticulture students each having been presented with a $300 scholarship. 

The recipients from left to right are:
Bethany Empert Guenther, Nathan Bessera,and Jessica Vaughan


Bill Patterson, Scholarship Chair for The Gardeners' Club, (far right) awarded three Distinguished Cabrillo College Horticulture Scholarshipsat the May 9th meeting at the Aptos Grange.  

The contribution of Ernie Wasson (far left) was recognized by establishing an annual award in his name as well as continuing with awards honoring lifetime member Virginia Saso.  

Students receiving $300 checks are David Apple (Left in photo), Max Laddon (center of group) and Jolene Guth.


Cherry Thompson, President of The Gardeners' Club presented the annual Virginia Saso Award to two outstanding Cabrillo College Horticulture students, Kimberly Emigh and Kevin Landaw; each received $300 stipends at the May 10, 2012 meeting.

2012 Saso award


The 2011 Virginia Saso award was Cabrillo College Horticulture Department for the purchase of books.  See the letter.

Virginia Saso receiving award 2010
Virginia Saso receiving her Life Time Membership and the first recipient of the Award named after her.