Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News

RSF Garden Club brings smiles to Camp Pendleton

RANCHO SANTA FE — In the spring of 2008, “Petals for Patriots” was created by David Root, a San Diegan floral designer who decided to brighten up the spirits of the wounded warriors at the Balboa Naval Hospital. It didn’t take long for garden clubs to take part in the project, including the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club.

There was just one twist.

The garden clubs located in North County would bring “Petals for Patriots” to the Wounded Warrior Battalion to Camp Pendleton in Oceanside.

Recently, the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club made their “Petals for Patriots” delivery on April 8.

LaVerne Schlosser, philanthropy chairman of the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club, said their group officially started a few years ago. Various garden clubs in the North County rotate turns to bring monthly bouquets to Camp Pendleton.

Over the years, however, certain groups have dropped out, people have moved on and circumstances have changed.

But the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club is still hard at work, dedicating two months out of the year to bring smiles to wounded warriors.

“’Petals for Patriots’ was a perfect project for us to get into,” said Schlosser, adding that their club is a nonprofit. “And Dos Gringos, a flower raising company in Carlsbad who is very active in the community, has been very generous to us by donating the beautiful sunflowers they raise that we use for our bouquets.”

In addition to a seven floral arrangement mix of sunflowers, irises, and alstroemerias, the club also gifted four large baskets of fresh fruit.

“We delivered it right to the Wounded Warrior Battalion’s two-story barracks,” Schlosser said. Bouquets and fruit baskets were peppered throughout the dining room, treatment rooms, meeting rooms, leisure rooms and more.

Established in 1926, the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club is the oldest organization located in the Ranch. While it has been involved in a flurry of activities and causes, it has had close ties to the military. “During World War II, our old club house was used to wrap packages, and for years, we made Christmas wreaths for Camp Pendleton,” she said.

Another reason why this particular project is special to Schlosser is because her husband was in the air force for 35 years. “’Petals for Patriots’ is a favorite thing that we do,” she said.

For anyone interested in learning more about “Petals for Patriots” and how they can help in the future or learn about the RSF Garden Club, visit RSFGardenClub.org or call (858) 756-1554.