It is with deep sadness that we pass along the news that our good friend and fellow gardener, Alicia Laddon, passed away recently after a long illness. Alicia joined the garden a few years ago during treatments for her illness and fast became an inspiration to us all. While she could not do the physical volunteer work, she contributed above and beyond as our Marketing Director and member of the Board. Alicia was a vital VISTA member, contributing not only her gardening expertise but also her considerable talents in marketing and fundraising.  Without Alicia's leadership and energy, our fundraiser events at Bonefish and Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza would not have been so successful. With her many contacts in all the right places she was able to raise over $3000 for our future pavilion through various events over only two years.  Her contacts could not sing her praises enough.

And what gumption! Two summers ago she traveled overseas to  WorldWide Opportunities on Organic Farms where she provided volunteer labor in exchange for housing at a sheep farm in Scotland! Alicia had an amazing sense of adventure. She never gave up on the surprises life offers. 

From what Alicia told many of us the last time we saw her, we know she had the courage to make the tough decisions about her illness, yet she had the satisfaction of a life well lived. At our August Board meeting, we already missed her strong voice and her ability to question issues without being disagreeable. Alicia had many traits all of us can hope to carry with us in her name on our own life journeys. We will all miss her greatly and hope that she is enjoying a bountiful harvest in her new garden. 

A memorial service is planned at her church for Saturday, August 24, 3:00 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal , 13312 Cain Rd, Tampa, FL 33625.