From the Digest

Susan Carpentier Receives Appreciation Award

HSCSS membership has always been a family affair for Susan Carpentier. “My parents taught us that if you can’t give money, then we give our time,” she said.

(January 2022)

Susan Carpentier, an always-energetic HSCSS volunteer, was presented with the 2021 Martin Schweig Appreciation Award during the society’s holiday party in December. This award is given to members who give their time and energy to the club without asking for any recognition or acknowledgement.

“These important members are the symbolic glue that helps keep this successful club together,” said Don Lesmeister, who works with Carpentier on the Zoom Committee. “This last month, it was my honor to present the appreciation award to Susan Carpentier. Her years of service and dedication to our club are without question why she is this year’s recipient.”

Carpentier and her parents were HSCSS members for decades. During these recent years of COVID, she has been the familiar face who emcees Zoom meetings. Carpentier is also the primary contact for the club’s library of publications and other items. She seldom misses HSCSS activities and always volunteers at the annual Show and Sale, for which she traditionally orders awards.

Carpentier’s response to receiving the Martin Schweig Appreciation Award follows.

Thank You

By Susan Carpentier

My father, William Jensen, was a longtime member of HSCSS until his passing in 1979. He served as president in 1969-70. As a child, I remember attending HSCSS events.

My favorite cactus was, and still is, the Cephalocereus senilis (old man cactus). Dad had one.

One year the club was having a picnic, and they were going to be playing bingo and needed prizes. He took that cactus from our home to be used as a prize. I was not happy. I don’t remember if I said anything to him about not giving it away – I was very young, not even a teenager yet.

As the bingo game was in progress, I kept a watch on that old man. I heard a woman shout “BINGO!” She ran straight to the old man and was so happy to have won that cactus.

Her happiness is what I remember. Also, the giving spirit of my father. My parents taught us (four girls) that if you can’t give money, then we give our time. That is where I got my devotion to volunteering.

The club is an important social component in my life. Our love for these plants is the great equalizer. We come from all walks of life, but our love for these unique plants brings us together as peers. I look forward to seeing everyone on the second Sunday of each month.

My family knew Martin Schweig for a long time. He was an acquaintance of my grandmother, who was the loving force in my upbringing. He was the photographer at my parents’ wedding in 1960. Seeing Martin at the meetings and talking to him about my family was a wonderful gift I will never forget.

Getting this award in his name has personal history for me and is an incredible honor. Thank you all for being a part of my life and for the distinct privilege of receiving the Martin Schweig Appreciation Award. I am humbled and truly appreciative.