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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After a long selection process 13 recipients received checks today from the Cape Fear Garden Club.

The club brought in $65,000 from this year’s Azalea Garden Tour during the NC Azalea Festival, and of that, it gave away $11,000 in standing grants to Battery Island and scholarships at UNCW and CFCC, and the rest for various beautification projects around the community.

One of the grant winners, Vann Pearsall, says his share will go toward replenishing the venus flytraps stolen from Alderman Park earlier this year.

“We’re very excited,” Pearson said. “Actually what happened, we had an outcry from across the county. Actually folks sending us seeds from all over so we can the propagations. So we’ve got some already started. This is going to help us make sure that we can replenish the thousand that were taken.”

Moments after receiving the grant, Pearsall embraced the daughter of Stanley Rehder, the man built the Venus flytrap sanctuary and dedicated his life to the rare carnivorous plants.

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