Volunteer Award Recipients

Volunteers are crucial to the success of the Garden and are honored at the annual Thanks for Giving luncheons in Atlanta and Gainesville.

Kathy Gallo

2017 Volunteer of the Year


Kathy’s service to the Garden began in 2009 after nearly 40 years as a Librarian. She is an expert in her profession, volunteering in the libraries of course, but also as a docent and during events. 

Kathy leads tours and has served as Docent Field Trip Chair and Docent Food Committee Chair. You’ll also find her volunteering for events like the Concerts in the Garden, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, the Reindog Parade and children’s events throughout the year. She was invaluable last year when the library received a donation of nearly 500 rare orchid books, all of which needed cataloging.

She made Centennial Club every year 2009-2017, and was Volunteer of the Month in 2013 and 2017. She volunteered 200 or more hours 2015-2017. As if that weren’t enough, she enlisted her husband to join her.

Jack Nolan

2016 Volunteer of the Year


Jack Nolan started volunteering in 2004 and is a trusted, reliable volunteer, taking on challenging tasks in a timely and professional manner. In the conservatory, he has built water features, constructed new planting areas and helps with projects in the headhouse and Conservation Garden. His plant maintenance, including dividing and repotting, planting, transplanting, watering, and sweeping.

“Jack takes on any task with a smile and a positive attitude,” said his supervisor, Conservatory Manager Paul Blackmore, “His gracious, friendly manner and easy laugh have made him a favorite with visitors and staff alike. It takes a special person to make it nearly 15 years in the conservatory. He is a key part of the team, a trusted assistant, and we are quite honored to have him around. He’s my right-hand man.”

Anita Wallace

2015 Volunteer of the Year


A three-time volunteer of the month, Anita Wallace started volunteering in 2000 as a docent after the Children’s Garden opened, and now regularly assists at events like Concerts in the Garden, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, and the Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour. Her true passion was realized when she started volunteering with amphibians. Wallace spends her time in the Frog Lab and Amphibian Display Areas collecting and growing insects for frog feedings, making algae plates for tadpoles, misting display tanks, and making salads for the turtles.

According to her supervisor, Wallace revolutionized the way the Garden keeps baby frogs by first suggesting the use of tulle (the fabric used in a ballerina’s tutu) as a lid for the baby frogs to keep the tiny bugs in the tanks. This technique has been adopted by other institutions that have amphibian captive breeding programs.

Bob Holmes

2014 Volunteer of the Year


Bob Holmes is always willing to assist, whether it’s pulling weeds, outplanting seedlings, plotting plant locations or leading tours. He donated more than 200 hours in the three years leading up to his award. He was also the March 2013 Volunteer of the Month and is a Root of the Garden for top volunteer hours.

“We are pleased to have such a renaissance man, knowledgeable in so many areas and helping in nearly every aspect of the volunteer program, as our 2014 Volunteer of the Year,” Garden President & CEO Mary Pat Matheson said in presenting the award at last fall’s annual Volunteer Luncheon.

Judie Taylor

2013 Volunteer of the Year


Since 1989, Judie Taylor has volunteered in nearly every role, from docent tour guide to garden maintenance helper to Fuqua Orchid Center assistant. She has been a member of the Centennial Club, volunteering more than 100 hours annually, every year since 1997 and was named a Volunteer of the Month three times.

“For more than 20 years, Judie has shared her time and talent and incredible dedication to the Garden and its staff, and it is a great honor to present her with this award,” said Volunteer Manager, Josh Todd.

Kathryn LaTour

2013 Lifetime Achievement Award


Kathryn LaTour is one of only seven volunteers to receive this coveted award.

Named Volunteer of the Year in 2008, LaTour has donated more than 7,000 hours to the Garden since 1987. She has been a member of the Centennial Club since 1993; been named a Root of the Garden (an award for top volunteer hours) six times; and was Volunteer of the Month twice.

According to Volunteer Manager Josh Todd, her docent tours are considered a treat by visitors because she educates and entertains.