THE LAURENS COUNTY MASTER GARDENER ASSOCIATION
The name of this association shall be The Laurens County Master Gardener Association (LCMGA).
It shall be the purpose of the Laurens County Master Gardener Association to promote good gardening and horticultural practices in Laurens County, South Carolina, as exemplified by the Master Gardener program of Clemson University, to support the Clemson Extension Agents of Laurens County and to assist new Master Gardeners in their required service. LCMGA shall be a nonprofit, nonsectarian, nonpartisan association.
Section 1: This organization will not be affiliated with any commercial enterprises. Furthermore, this organization will operate as a charitable and educational organization within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. No part of the net earnings shall be granted to or benefit any private individual. A volunteer board of directors will govern funds generated through the efforts and activities of this organization, utilizing the guidelines established for 501(c)(3) corporations. In the event of dissolution, the residual assets shall be surrendered to one or more organizations which themselves are exempt as organizations described in Sections 501(c)(3) Internal Revenue code, or to any federal, state, local government for exclusively public purposes.
Section 2: Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations described under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
• Membership is open to all persons in Laurens County and surrounding counties who have completed the Certified Master Gardener program of Clemson University, and who have completed or are working on the required 40 hours of volunteer service.
• Members are expected to pay the annual dues determined by the Association, and to complete annually a minimum of 15 hours of volunteer service, of which 3-5 hours may be education hours. Service hours must be approved by the LCMGA and/or the Master Gardener Coordinator (Extension Agent).
• Membership in the Association may be revoked for reasons of neglect, lack of interest, or other causes that work against the best interests of the Association. This action must come as a recommendation of the Executive Committee and be approved by the membership.
• Associate membership in LCMGA is open to individuals who may not have had the opportunity to complete the Master Gardener program, but who are interested in participating in educational and/or volunteer opportunities provided by the LCMGA. Associate members shall pay the same dues as members, and shall be able to continue as associates at the discretion of the Executive Committee, and as long as their association benefits the LCMGA. Associate membership does not include the privileges of voting or holding office in LCMGA, which are reserved for full-fledged members in good standing.
• Neither members nor associate members are permitted to receive remuneration for services rendered on behalf of LCMGA. Any such fees and/or donations are solely to benefit the LCMGA and its programs.
• In compliance with the state office of the South Carolina Master Gardener Program, personal information gathered from members, such as addresses, phone numbers, and emails, shall be kept private and confidential and made available for use only in the context of the Master Gardener program. Specifically, the selling or sharing of such lists or information is not permitted.
• Individual members may choose to opt out of such group communications.
The Fiscal year of LCMGA shall be from January 1 through December 31.
OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Section 1 The Officers of LCMGA shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and the immediate past President.
Section 2 The Executive Committee shall consist of the Officers, two other members of the Association appointed by the President, and the Laurens County Clemson Extension Agent. Duties of the Executive Committee shall include conducting the business of the Association, at the direction of the President, between regularly scheduled monthly meetings. The Executive Committee shall also approve expenditures of Association funds prior to the disbursement of such funds.
Section 3 The Laurens County Clemson Extension Agent shall be a non-voting member of the Executive Committee and the Nominating Committee.
Section 4 At the Annual Meeting, defined as the last meeting of the fiscal year, the members of the Association shall elect officers from the membership for a one-year term. The new term shall begin at the close of the Annual Meeting. Officers may be re-elected for a consecutive one-year term. In the event of a vacancy of any such office, the Executive Committee shall fill that vacancy until the next Annual meeting.
• The President shall act as presiding officer of all monthly, annual, and special meetings of the Association, and shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee.
• The President shall call all meetings of the Executive Committee and set the agenda for all meetings.
• The President shall be authorized to sign checks in the absence of the Treasurer.
• The Vice-President shall be a member of such committees as appointed by the President.
• The Vice-President shall act in the place of the President when the President is absent.
• The Secretary shall keep the minutes and attendance of all meetings and shall keep all association records.
• The President must appoint someone for this duty in the absence of the Secretary.
• The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all funds, and shall write and sign checks along with the President to dispense funds.
• The Treasurer shall be responsible for receiving the receipts and paying the expenditures of the LCMGA, and shall do all other things necessary in connection with the funds, such as opening and closing bank accounts to keep the Association running.
• The Treasurer will make a financial report to the Association at each monthly meeting, and shall present a yearly financial report at the Annual Meeting.
• The Treasurer shall be involved in the budgetary process.
NOMINATIONS and ELECTIONS
Section 1 A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the President from the Association membership. The Laurens County Clemson Extension Agent will be a standing member of this committee.
Section 2 The Nominating Committee shall present at the Annual Meeting the name of at least one candidate, as needed, for the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each candidate for an office must have agreed to serve in such capacity if elected.
Section 3 Additional nominations for any office may be made from the floor by any member eligible to vote. Each candidate for nomination from the floor must have agreed to serve as an Officer prior to being placed in nomination.
Section 4 Elections shall be determined by majority vote of the membership in attendance at the Annual Meeting.
Section 5 Officers are officially seated at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting, provided that they have agreed to the terms set forth in these by-laws.
Committees of the LCMGA shall be any committees or subcommittees deemed necessary by the President or the Executive Committee to carry out the purposes and work of the LCMGA. The President shall appoint the chairperson and members of each such special committee annually.
Section 1 The regular meetings of the Laurens County Master Gardener Association shall be held monthly, unless otherwise stipulated by the President.
Section 2 The last meeting of the year, known as the Annual Meeting, shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, approving the next fiscal year’s budget, and for any other business deemed necessary.
Section 3 Committee meetings are called as needed by the chairperson of the individual committees. It is intended that all committees shall conduct their business prior to regularly scheduled monthly meetings, and that the committee chairs will report activities to the membership at the regular meetings.
Section 4 Special meetings may be called by the President, or in the absence of the President, any other Officer; special meetings may be called upon written request of the Executive Committee as a group. The purpose of a special meeting shall be stated in a written notice sent to the membership with at least three days prior notice given, except in cases of emergency.
Section 1 The By-Laws may be amended by majority vote of the members of the Association at any Annual Meeting or at any Special Meeting called by the President for that purpose. By-Laws may be amended by two-thirds vote of the members present or by proxy, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing to the members no fewer than five (5) days preceding the meeting.
Section 2 All amendments shall become operative immediately upon adoption, unless otherwise stated in the amendment.
Newly revised Robert’s Rules of Order shall be authority for conduct of all meetings, except where otherwise provided in the By-Laws.
First Draft 12/17/2009 First Draft Revision 4/29/10
First Draft Revision 01/19/2010 First Draft Revision 7/10/10
First Draft Revision 04/15/10 First Draft Revision 7/12/10
First Draft Revision 04/16/10 First Draft Revision 8/14/10
Purpose Section 1 Dissolution Statement approved December 6, 2016
Purpose Section 2 Education Statement approved June 15, 2017