Bylaws of The Garden Club of Brewster
The name of the organization shall be The Garden Club of Brewster, hereinafter called the Club.
Use of this name for other than Club approved functions is not permitted.
The mission of the club shall be to stimulate the love for and knowledge of gardening; to
promote the protection of natural resources, including plants and wildlife; to cooperate with town
agencies to beautify the roadsides and other public places in Brewster; and to foster respect for
the ecology of our environment.
There shall be three classes of membership: Regular, Sustaining and Honorary.
1. Regular Membership
A. Regular Membership shall be limited to 125 people. Anyone who has a love of gardening
shall be eligible for Regular Membership.
B. If the membership quota is filled, additional applications will be placed on a waiting list in
the order they are received.
C. Prospective members must
• Submit an application in writing to the Membership Chair
• Be willing to take an active part in the work of the Club
• Pay annual dues
D. To maintain Regular membership status, members must
• Serve on a committee of one’s choice
• Actively contribute to the annual Plant and Bake Sale
• Support the Club by attending monthly meetings
• Participate in the Club’s programs and activities
• Perform hostess duties at one monthly meeting each year
• Pay annual dues
E. A past president becomes a Regular member after completion of the term of office, but
does not pay dues.
F. Any member wishing to resign is requested to notify the Membership Chair in writing.
2. Sustaining Membership
A. Sustaining Membership is an honor granted by the Executive Board (Board) to a
longstanding Regular member who has served actively on a committee each year for
at least five years and has been an officer or Chair of one committee during this period.
B. Sustaining members
Pay annual dues
Have all the privileges of Regular members
Perform hostess duties at one monthly meeting each year
Participate in the annual Plant and Bake Sale
3. Honorary Membership
A. Honorary memberships can be awarded to Club members or members of the community
in recognition of their exemplary service to the Club or to the community. Honorary
memberships are proposed by the Board and voted on by the membership. Honorary
members are not required to pay dues but those who are Club members have the right to
vote. Members of the community do not have voting privileges.
1. The fiscal year shall be from July 1 to June 30.
A. Dues shall be payable at the April and May meetings. If unpaid by June 30, membership
shall be forfeited.
B. Anyone accepted into membership after February 1 shall pay one-half the annual dues for
that fiscal year.
C. Dues may be changed upon recommendation of the Board and a majority vote of the
membership at the annual business meeting in May (Annual Meeting).
D. Past Presidents and Honorary members do not pay dues.
1. General Membership Meetings:
A. The Regular meetings of the Club shall be held on the first Wednesday of every month
except July, August and September unless otherwise ordered by the Club or the Board.
B. The Annual Meeting shall be conducted during the regular May meeting and shall be
for the purpose of election of officers, approval of the proposed budget, and approval of
any dues or bylaw changes.
C. Special meetings may be called by the President or upon the request of ten members.
D. Forty members shall constitute a quorum at any Regular meeting of the Club.
2. Executive Board Meetings
A. The Board shall meet the Wednesday prior to the Club meeting, or at a time determined
by a majority of its members.
B. The quorum for the Board shall be 50 percent of the Board members plus one.
C. Special Board meetings may be called at the discretion of the President.
1. The officers of the Club shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. They
shall be elected at the Annual Meeting for a two-year period with the exception of the
Treasurer who may serve three years.
2. No officer shall be eligible for the same office for more than one consecutive term.
3. Duties of Officers:
A. The President:
• Presides at all meetings of the Club and the Board
• Appoints the Chairs of ad hoc committees as needed
• Is an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee
• Casts the deciding vote in case of a tie vote on any matter
B. The Vice-President:
• Assumes, in the absence of the President, the duties of that office, and performs any
other duties assigned by the President
• Serves as Fundraising Coordinator for the Club, overseeing and monitoring all
fundraising functions and reports, when needed, to the Board
C. The Secretary:
• Keeps all minutes of the Board and Regular Meetings
• Attends to any correspondence of the Club as directed by the officers
D. The Treasurer:
• Collects, receives and holds all monies of the Club
• Pays out Club monies in accordance with the approved budget or upon the order of the Board
• Keeps a complete record of all transactions
• Submits a financial report at each Board meeting and each Regular meeting
• Provides an annual report at the end of the year
• Prepares an annual budget with the Finance Committee, based on figures submitted by
Committee Chairs and officers.
• Acts as Chair of the Finance Committee
• Notifies Membership Chair of delinquent members
• Submits all records to an auditor appointed by the President.
4. Elected officers must be Regular members.
1. The Executive Board shall consist of the elected officers and standing committee chairs.
2. The Board:
• Supervises the affairs of the Club between meetings
• Fixes the hour and place of meetings
• Approves requests for changes in membership status
• Proposes Honorary members
• Reviews the proposed annual budget
• Reviews and may approve requests for money needed to fulfill obligations or functions of
the Club not in the annual budget in an amount not to exceed $500 without the vote of
the general membership
• Reviews dues amount annually
• Fills vacancies that may occur on the Board.
1. Committee Chairs
A. Committee Chairs are volunteers from the membership.
B. All Committee Chairs shall submit a proposed committee budget prior to the Budget
meeting in March. No committee or member of a committee shall contract any bills in the
name of the Club without authority from the Board, nor have the power to commit the Club to
a policy, position or activity without authorization from the Board.
C. Committee members may request reimbursement of expenses approved by the committee
Chair by completing and sending a reimbursement form with receipts attached to the
D. Each Chair shall keep a notebook, which contains a complete record of committee
programs, procedures, and expenses to be passed on to the incoming Chair.
2. Committee Formation
A. Each Chair recommends adequate numbers to do the work of the committee.
B. Members will be given the opportunity to make their committee selections at the April
and May meetings.
C. Each Regular member must be an active member of a committee.
3. Responsibilities of Standing Committees
A. Budding Ideas Committee – collects and receives information, produces and distributes
B. Civic Committee – keeps the Club informed as to all beautification projects, existing and
proposed, for town plantings at various sites which it maintains.
C. Communications Committee – notifies members of meetings and special Club events by
either telephone, mail or email.
D. Conservation Committee – informs the Club of any legislation and information affecting
conservation at the local, state and national level and may participate in local conservation
E. Education Grant Committee – provides information to principals of schools regarding grant
availability, processes and reviews grant proposals, determines recipient(s), serves as
liaison with recipient, and reports to Club.
F. Horticultural Education Committee – provides Club members with information on
horticultural developments, provides opportunities for horticultural activities, and
recommends for Board approval the Annual Beautification Award recipient.
G. Hospitality Committee – advises and assists the hostesses with monthly meetings,
purchases paper supplies, and keeps a record and inventory of all Club properties.
H. Membership Committee – maintains an accurate membership list; receives all applications
for membership or changes in membership status; presents all requests for changes in
status to the Board for approval, and notifies applicants in writing of the Board’s decision;
and organizes committee sign ups annually at the April and May meetings.
I. Program Committee – plans programs for all Regular meetings.
J. Publicity Committee – provides media with announcements of meetings, programs and other
activities of the Club and keeps a scrapbook of each year’s activities and events. All
publicity for Club meetings, events and activities is to be coordinated with the Publicity
K. Remembrance Committee – sends an appropriate remembrance to any member who has
experienced illness or death in the family.
L. Scholarship Committee – publicizes the Garden Club of Brewster Scholarship, processes
applications and announces the name(s) of the recipient(s) at the Spring Luncheon.
1. Special Committees are established by the Board. Chair persons are appointed or are
volunteers from the membership
2. Duties of Special Committees:
A. Auditor – audits the Club books and records at the end of each fiscal year
B. Bylaws Committee – inspects and analyzes bylaws to assure that they are consistent wit h
actual practice and recommends changes for membership approval
C. Community Holiday Decorations Committee – arranges for the decoration of the central
area of Brewster for the winter holidays
D. Finance Committee – prepares an annual budget in March and presents it to the
membership at the April meeting, to be voted on at the Annual Meeting. The committee
advises the membership of possible uses for surplus funds
E. Fundraising Coordinator – the Vice President, as Fundraising Coordinator for the Club,
oversees and monitors all fundraising functions by communicating with each of the
fundraising committee chairs and reports, when needed, to the Board.
1. Cookbook Sales Committee – works with the publisher to maintain an inventory of
Garden Club of Brewster cookbooks for sale at various Club functions, as well as by local
2. Festival of Tables Committee – organizes, manages, and publicizes this event, which
displays themed table settings and floral arrangements for public viewing
3. Game Day Committee – organizes and manages the game day event
4. Plant and Bake Sale Committee – organizes and manages yearly Plant and Bake Sale
5. Other – organizes and manages any additional fundraising efforts as approved by
F. Holiday Luncheon (December) Committee - makes arrangements for luncheon
G. Special Trips Committee - selects and coordinates trips to places of interest to
H. Spring Luncheon (May) Committee – arranges the Spring Luncheon
I. Webmaster – establishes and maintains a website to provide information and photos about
the Club and its activities to the public, including: meetings, membership, programs, history,
bylaws, and special events.
J. Yearbook Committee – produces the Annual Yearbook.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE / ELECTIONS
1. The President at the regular January meeting appoints the Nominating Committee Chair.
2. The Nominating Committee consists of the appointed Chair and two members selected by
the Chair from the Regular membership list. The committee:
• prepares a slate of candidates for election to offices of the Club
• announces this slate at the April meeting and solicits further nominations from the floor
• submits its final ballot at the Annual Meeting.
3. The election takes place at the Annual Meeting. If more than one person is nominated for
any office, the vote shall be by secret ballot.
4. The elected slate shall be installed at the Spring Luncheon.
5. Any vacancies on the elected slate shall be filled by the Board.
REPORTS AND SUCCESSION
1. Current and new members of the Board attend the Board meeting preceding the Spring
Luncheon at which time all records and information shall be exchanged.
2. Each officer and Chair prepares two copies of a written report for the year: one copy to the
President and one copy to the incoming officer or Chair. These will be given at the Board
meeting or prior to the Spring Luncheon. The Spring Luncheon Chair will prepare her
report as soon after the event as possible.
The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern the Club in all cases in
which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with the bylaws.
AMENDMENTS TO BYLAWS
These bylaws may be amended at the Annual Meeting of the Club in May by a two-thirds vote of
Regular and Sustaining members present and voting, provided that the proposed amendment
has been read at a previous Regular meeting, or that a notice in writing has been sent to each
Club member at least (10) days in advance of the meeting at which the vote is to be taken.
The Club may be dissolved only with the authorization of the Board given and at a special
meeting called for that purpose and with subsequent approval by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of
members. Upon dissolution, all remaining assets of the Club shall be distributed to an
organization(s) having purposes similar to those of the Club, to be selected by the then existing
Revised and Approved: May 4, 2016
Policies and Procedures
1. Dues (ref. Article IV) – If dues are not paid by the May meeting, members will be notified. If
unpaid by June 30, members will be notified that they are being dropped from the
membership roster. Any member dropped may reapply through the Membership Committee
2. Donations (ref. Article VII) – Donations are defined as garden or horticulture-related
disbursements deemed by the Board to be compatible with the aims of the Club. Requests
for donations which meet this definition are to be evaluated and approved by the Board as
the need arises.
3. Procedures for Contracting for Club Events in Commercial Establishments (ref. Article VII)
A written contract must be approved by the Executive Board before a check is issued. The
Chair should know the expected amount of the bill at the time of the event. If there is a
discrepancy, an explanation shall be given which will satisfy the Treasurer and the Chair
before the check is issued.
4. Standing Committees (ref. Article VIII)
• Horticultural Beautification Award – The Award is given each year in recognition of the
garden design/landscaping efforts of a Brewster individual or business in a location which
can be appreciated by the general public. Suggestions for this award are accepted
throughout the year. The winner is announced at the October meeting. A framed
certificate is then presented to the recipient as soon as possible and a public
announcement is prepared for the media.
• Program – The Program Committee is responsible for securing a signed contract from
each speaker and for procuring a check from the Treasurer. The committee collects
signed contract letters from the speaker, confirms the appearance, introduces the
speaker, pays the speaker and sends a thank you note. The sale of books and other
merchandise pertaining to the program by speakers is permitted. Sales of outside
merchandise are not permitted.
. • Remembrance – A flower or plant will be sent to a member at the time of serious illness
If a Club member’s spouse, significant other, or immediate family dies, a plant and note
will be sent. If a Club member dies, the surviving spouse, significant other or immediate
family member will be sent a note and an appropriate memorial book will be donated to
the Brewster Ladies’ Library in the member’s name.
• Scholarship – Payment for scholarships will be made directly to the recipient upon
completion of the first semester. One or more scholarships will be awarded each year to
a Brewster resident for the purpose of continuing education in the field of landscape
design, horticulture, conservation, and environmental, marine or related sciences.
• Finance Committee—The Finance Committee is appointed by the President. It will consist of
the President, the Treasurer, the Immediate Past President, a Board member and a member