BOONE – After several months of planning, acquiring plants and anticipation, Jerry Williamson blew the whistle at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, in a steady rain storm to start the Watauga County Democratic Party’s annual plant sale in his front yard.

Over the day, more than 700 people from seven different states purchased in excess of $30,000 in plants at the residence, according to Pam Willliamson.

“The final figures are not in yet, but we’ll end up with well over $30,000,” said Pam Williamson.

All the plants are tagged and Williamson said they sold more than 10,000 tags.

The plant sale is the biggest annual fundraiser for the Watauga County Democratic Party. The planning goes back to before Thanksgiving with purchases from vendors for the rarer plants, such as Japanese Maples from upstate New York.

“It’s a well-oiled machine,” Williamson said.

Many of the plants that eventually end up in the front yard of the Williamson residence are grown for that purpose or donated.

“We’re committed to making sure everything is affordable,’ Williamson said. “We want you to have the best possible plant at $1, the lowest price point.”

The volunteer list reached over 70, Williamson said. Out of that number, 20 were working on the sale “all day every day,” according to Williamson.

“Some people were growing plants under lights in their houses,” Williamson said.

After having more than 700 people on her front lawn during a monsoon, Williamson said that her front yard was “destroyed,” but people have stepped up to help her financially to repair the damage.

“I’m really proud of this,” Williamson said. “It started off as a small fundraiser. We don’t allow any politics at the event. It’s a community event and people are very supportive.”

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