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Club fetes presidents with trees
Forty-four aristocrat pear trees now line the meandering sidewalk from Smyrna Park's western flank to the children's play area. Three trees were planted Saturday morning by an energetic members of the Ceres Garden Club assisted by city workers to memorialize all the presidents of the United States.

"I'm just so happy I don't know what to do," said Shirley Davis of the Ceres Garden Club. Davis' push for the project to become reality comes as she's battling liver cancer. "I am just so thankful for everybody who helped."

The Ceres Garden Club's "Let Freedom Ring" grove is in need of $6,000 for memorial markers at the base of each tree which will note the president's name and term of office. Colleen Bergamaschi said the club is thinking about white granite markers.

The trees will start with George Washington at the west end with successive presidents alternating sides of the walkway until completed with Barack Obama at a high point in the park. There will be room to add future presidents.

Club president Jim Bergamaschi thought the project was a great way to add to the beauty of Ceres' largest park while giving people a chance to stop and remember the men who led the country.

While 43 men served as president, Obama is the 44th president. That's because one man, Grover Cleveland, served two non-consectuive terms, taking the 22nd and 24th terms.

Only five American presidents are living - Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The last presidents to die were Gerald Ford (2006) and Ronald Reagan (2004).

The club is accepting donations from the public which may be sent to the Ceres Garden Club, P.O. Box 282, Ceres CA 95307.

Davis said the project will also serve as a learning tool for the school children when used as a field trip. She foresees American flags being planted at the base of each tree during Fourth of July or Memorial Day.