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SCHERERVILLE | The Lake County Master Gardeners Association celebrated its accomplishments at its annual awards banquet.

Master gardeners volunteered more than 8,000 hours in public gardens, including those of churches and schools, between Sept. 1, 2012, and Aug. 31, 2013. One hundred twenty-seven master gardeners submitted volunteer hours, with several receiving special awards, including Kathy Kick, who dedicated countless hours towards the success of the annual plant sale for six years and LCMGA Garden Walks for the past two years.

For the 2014-15 school year, a scholarship contribution in memory of Diane Bedoian was received from Marlene and Elsie Zloza, and the Munster and Hobart garden clubs and Illiana Garden and Pond Society offered generous donations to assist university horticultural and landscaping students.

Patricia Earnest received the annual Golden Shovel Award for her creation, the monthly Lake County Master Gardener Grapevine. She has served as LCMGA president, scholarship chair, treasurer, program chair, by-laws committee member, and agriculture awareness program creator.

Other awards were presented as follows:

Certified Awards — Debbie Doerr, Cynthia Flores, Joyce Higgins, Eloise Janostak, Joe Janostak, Candyce Jones, Phil Kaemerer, Sherry Kubiak, Donna Mulholland, Rosemarie Nugent, Jeff Ossanna, Janice Semko, Loretta Steuer, Debbie Yates and Kathi Yeagley

Advanced Awards — Jan Bolz, Mary Brancato, Joanna Drackert, Clanthia Green, Eli Green, Susan Parish, Pam Przybylowski, Dawn Vanzo-Gessler and Kathi Yeagley

Bronze Awards — Carol Bauer, Mary Ann Fisher, Tim Hojnicki, Rosellen Kozel, Lynne Schaller, Joan Webb and Valerie Wotkun

Silver Awards — Kathy Bartley, Mike Catchur, Rita DeRolf, Victoria Jostes and Linda Lerch,

Gold Awards — Judy Kopchik, Joy McCullough, John W. Orth and Sharon Raduchel

Gardener Helpline volunteers assisted more than 600 Lake County residents in 2013 with horticultural, vegetable, and landscaping questions.

Lake County Extension Advisory Board guests included Marti Ross, Larry Anderson, Lynda Bodie, Alan Carlson, Patricia Earnest, Sheree Japchinski and Ed Rice.

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