Verona Garden Club members and friends celebrated the life of its late founder by raising funds at a memorial bingo.
Mariann Brayer started what was then called the Verona Flower Club in 2004. She was its president for 11 years and instrumental in multiple beautification projects throughout the borough.
She helped install planters along the viaduct and Allegheny River Boulevard and faithfully watered them for years. Brayer also was a longtime volunteer at Family House Pittsburgh, a charity dedicated to providing families and patients seeking treatment at Pittsburgh-area hospitals a home away from home.
She died Oct. 20, 2018, at age 77.
“Without Mariann, there would be no garden club,” current President Angela Occhipinti said. “Being that she recently passed away and her birthday was coming up, we thought it would show respect and honor for all the volunteer efforts she had given to the town.”
Brayer’s birthday was Feb. 19. The club hosted a memorial bingo and Chinese auction Feb. 15 at the Verona Fraternal Order of Eagles lodge along James Street.
There were photos of Brayer, flowers and candles on a special table near the gift baskets. Her husband, Bob Brayer, was among the 125 people who participated.
“It went excellent,” Occhipinti said. “We had a full house.”
The club raised about $800 toward its hanging baskets project. Baskets will be installed on all the poles along East Railroad Avenue.