LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Natchez Garden Club honors Guido with award

Published 1:19 pm Monday, April 22, 2024

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NATCHEZ — In 2018, The Natchez Garden Club embarked on a new tradition known as the Magnolia Festival season, a festive time for honoring the club’s rich history, members of the club who have contributed significant service to the club, and the selected royalty for the reigning year.  The festival concludes with the Magnolia Ball, an evening of performance and presentation while celebrating the club’s members and guests during the evening.

Once such presentation is the Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor bestowed to Natchez Garden Club members, an outside organization, or family who has significantly contributed service to the Natchez Garden Club and to the community.  This award was established during the Annual Magnolia Ball that began in 2018.

The committee reaches out to members of the selected awardee’s family in advance of the ball to allow time to “remember” unique and significant contributions the awardee has made during their growing up years.  The perspective of family is such an integral part of this award. While the club member certainly served the club in many ways, the family support and sometimes participation of family members is just as significant. This award is kept a secret until the Magnolia Ball and the presentation.

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This year the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Margaret Simonton Guido. Mrs. Guido has over the many years served this club as a hostess, provided floral arrangements, prepared and served the club’s famous candlelight dinners, chaired over the Furnishing Chairman for Magnolia Hall during the first restoration of the property when it was acquired by The Natchez Garden Club, as well as having served as President for two terms.  She is an active member of the Advisory Committee, a committee of former presidents who meet one or two times a year with the current president.

Mrs. Guido involved her family throughout the seasons of club activities. During Spring Pilgrimage all four children participated in the evening tableau once called The Historic Natchez Pageant.  One of the club’s volunteer services in preparation of the event was to spend many hours making the tissue-paper azaleas that were wired onto a real azalea shrub. This became a family affair where everyone served their time in contributing under her directions.

Previous Lifetime Achievement winners honored were Mrs. Ellen Mosby 2018, Mrs. Helen Moss Smith, 2019, The George W. Armstrong Family, 2020, Ron and MiMi Miller 2021, Ms Anne McNeil and Mrs. Elizabeth Boggess 2022 and Mrs. Judy Stahlman 2023.