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Sewickley garden club members top trays with cheer

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Anna Jane Stunja is given a tabletop Christmas tree by a Meals on Wheels volunteer during a delivery at her Sewickley home on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. The trees were made by members of the Trowel & Error Garden Club.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Christian Hallstein is given tabletop Christmas trees for her and his wife by a Meals on Wheels volunteer during a delivery at their Sewickley home on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. The trees were made by members of the Trowel & Error Garden Club.

Instead of making Christmas decorations for their own homes at their yearly November workshop this year, Trowel & Error Garden Club members decided to share some holiday cheer.

“In the past, we have done wreathes, swags, topiaries and all sorts of holiday decorations,” said Lisa Diemert of Glen Osborne, program chairwoman and former president.

“As we were discussing this year, I just felt that it would be great to start the season by making something that would decorate someone else's home.”

Members came up with the idea to make small tabletop Christmas trees to place on Meals on Wheels trays delivered throughout the area.

Member Pam Lasorda of Sewickley volunteers for that organization, and member Maria Swanson of Sewickley has her Girl Scouts make items for Meals On Wheels participants for holidays throughout the year. The trees will be placed on trays when meals are delivered.

“We have a very talented membership,” Diemert said. “I asked them to use their creativity and bring items to decorate a little tree. I purchased the plain little trees at a craft store.”

On workshop day, member Belinda Thompson transformed her barn into Santa's workshop, Diemert said. About 20 women worked on the trees, and the few who couldn't make it asked for trees to decorate at home.

Diemert said it didn't take long for the women to glue, tie or hang the decorations and come up many variations of the traditional reds, gold and silver.

“For some, this may be the only “tree” that adorns their home for the holiday,” garden club President Sandra Lanesaid.

Susan Kaminski of Sewickley, a Meals On Wheel volunteer for more than a decade, said this is the first time the garden club has done a project with the agency.

“The trees are gorgeous. I know the recipients will be thrilled,” she said.

Every Monday, Kaminski — along with Mary Scalercio of Glen Osborne — pick up meals from St. James Catholic Church in Sewickley to deliver to clients in an area extending from Sewickley Heights Manor in Aleppo to Linden Court in Sewickley. A second team delivers to the Edgeworth and Leetsdale areas.

Volunteers from the kitchen in Emsworth drop off the meals at the church for volunteers to deliver. They deliver if a volunteer is unable to help that day.

Kaminski said right now, the number of Sewickley clients is low because of multiple hospitalizations, but the number of clients in Leetsdale has increased.

“We suspect there are many more who could be benefiting from the service but we have not been successful in getting word out enough. Hopefully, we can inspire people to suggest it to their friends, family members or neighbors who could benefit.”

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

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