With the increased interest in making lasting, living donations for memorials, tributes, and celebrations, tree planting has become a popular way to commemorate an individual or event. In keeping with this trend, Perry Wellness Center has established a “Plant a Tree” donor program through Rudy’s Happy Patch Market.
Perry Wellness Center founder Stuart Perry, along with market director Phyllis Smith and Mulkey McMichael, designed the new program as a way for groups or individuals to affordably present a planted tree in honor, memory, or celebration of a friend or family member.
The process begins with the selection of a tree from over 15 fruit and flowering varieties available at the market. For an additional $10 above purchase price, a trained peer gardener and staff member will travel to any location in Americus and properly plant the tree.
On behalf of the entire Perry family, Stuart kicked off the program by honoring retired State Senator George Hooks with the inaugural tree. Having served 22 years as a state senator and an additional 10 years in the Georgia House of Representatives, Senator Hooks was often an advocate for the needs of those with mental illness in the communities he served.
“When I was Chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the Senate,” Senator Hooks recalls, “I sought funding for Georgia Mental Health and Mental Retardation for all districts in Georgia.”
Senator Hooks continues to be an ambassador for mental health wellness efforts in Georgia. He notes, “I have known the Perry family and their investments in Americus and in Southwest Georgia for many years. Perry Wellness Center is a great tribute to Stuart and the Perry family. I will support their mission any way I can.”
If you are interested in the “Plant a Tree” donor program, come by the market and check out the selection of available trees. Most trees are in seven-gallon containers, and prices range from $14 to $40, depending upon variety and size. Delivery and planting totals $10. Currently available trees include: crepe myrtles (in three colors), dogwood (in two colors), snowballs (in three-gallon containers), red buds, live oaks, pear, peach, and plum trees; vitex, cherry oaks, tulip trees, water oaks, maples, and swamp chestnuts.
In the photo above, Senator George Hooks, longtime friend and part-time gardener, Michael, and peer Jeffrey Bowens gather in the yard of Hooks’ Taylor Street home to plant the tree honoring him for his mental health advocacy.