Julia Hawkins’ 103 Jubilee Celebrated at Hilltop
On Feb. 9, Hilltop was the setting for a unique birthday party honoring Julia Hawkins, a longtime arboretum supporter. Over 400 family members and friends thronged Hilltop on Saturday morning … gobbling up the 103 Taiwan cherry tree saplings (which sold in under an hour), many copies of Mrs. Hawkins’ memoir, half a dozen king cakes and an oversized pink birthday cake decorated with cherry blossoms.
Mrs. Hawkins was presented with a framed citation from the mayor in recognition of the role she has played in the beautification of Highland Road. She "planted" a cherry tree near the cypress trees that had been planted six years ago in memory of her husband, Murray Hawkins, first Friends of Hilltop Arboretum Board President.
The three-hour party was a grand success from all points of view. Mrs. Hawkins said, “Nothing could have topped it. It was the party to end all parties!” Her family expressed their appreciation to Hilltop for ordering the trees and allowing them to use the lovely Beverly Brown Coates Auditorium for the event. And the arboretum came out over $3,500 to the good by selling trees and books, and from donations to the newly established Julia Hawkins Beautification Fund.
The only ones disappointed were those who arrived too late to purchase a tree. However, the arboretum is now in search of more of the lovely flowering cherry trees for Julia’s birthday next year. Both Hilltop and the Hawkins family hope the Cherry Tree Jubilee will become an annual event … continuing to spread Julia Hawkins’ love of nature.