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Dade County Executive Manager Ted Rumley, second from right, reads the proclamation stating that April 25th is "Eloise Gass Day" in Dade County. Gass was honored for the countless hours she donates to beautifying the city of Trenton and Dade County.

April 25, National Arbor Day, was additionally declared “Eloise Gass Day” in Dade to thank the longtime Trenton Tree City president for her decades of planting, weeding and watering in the county.  County officials and Gass admirers from all over the county gathered Friday to plant a dogwood tree in front of the restored historic one-room schoolhouse at the Dade Board of Education in honor of the county’s favorite gardener.

Organized by retired educator Jane Dixon, the event was half testimonial and half roast as participants related their individual tales of being pressed into service by the petite but forceful Ms. Gass. Shalanda Reed told the story of being terrorized by an autocratic elderly patron as a youthful McDonald’s worker, then learning too late she was marrying the old dragon’s grandson – and ultimately becoming “Miss Eloise’s” devoted horticultural henchwoman.

In this shot, Ms. Gass (third from right) listens as Dade County Executive Chairman Ted Rumley reads the proclamation in her honor. Also pictured are, from left, Shalanda Reed; fellow Gass henchwoman Mary Petruska; Ms. Gass’s husband, Burless Gass; and District 4 Commissioner Allan Bradford.

Attendees of the ceremony included representatives from the county’s school and court systems as well as the Georgia Forestry Commission. Students from Dade County High School arrived in time to plant the tree.


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