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The Country Friends in Rancho Santa Fe planting memorial trees in honor of past presidents

Esther Rodriquez, chairwoman of the Presidents Circle of the Country Friends; Rhonda Tryon, president, Country Friends; Jo Ann Kilty, chairwoman of the Presidents Circle of the Country Friends; and Arnold Keene, field operations manager for the Rancho Santa Fe Association. Below: some of the saplings that will be planted. Photos by Jon Clark

Oak trees, donated by Mia McCarville of Cedros Nurseries, will soon be planted in the Honor Grove in the San Elijo and Fortuna area of the trails in Rancho Santa Fe in memory of the nine former presidents of The Country Friends who have passed away since the non-profit was founded in 1954. The nine former presidents honored are: Dorothy Patton, Johanne Wenz. Edith Havens. Erna Mullins, Joan Corlett Johnson, Peggy Pharr, Nancy Podbielniak, Suzanne Teasdel and Jean S. Newman.

The Country Friends honored all of its 28 past presidents, 10 of whom were in attendance, at the Art of Fashion fundraiser Sept. 18 at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. The Art of Fashion, presented in partnership with South Coast Plaza, marked The Country Friends’ 60th diamond anniversary. The Country Friends has raised more than $12 million since its founding to benefit San Diego County charities, with emphasis on services to women, children, the elderly and those with disabilities.

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