From the Executive Director
Deadlines! Deadlines! Deadlines!
It may not be as serious as April 15, but our deadline for renewing 2000 memberships is December 1. For your chapter treasurers and membership chairs, it's as much fun as being a CPA in April. OARS is suddenly as popular as the IRS, receiving late night faxes, e-mail, and phone calls begging for an extension, and the mailbox is jammed with renewal notices from those last minute volunteer champions who have once again beat the deadline. Renewal notices started going out in September. If you've already renewed, give yourself a hug. Otherwise, please renew today, either through your chapter or send your dues directly to OARS. Then OARS can assure you the best possible service as we begin our new year.
And speaking of service, apologies are in order to our good members in Europe who are still receiving the spring issue of the Journal. Our speedy International Service Air Lift seems never to have lifted after it was printed in Portland. Special thanks to our excellent treasurers Christian Madvig of the Danish Chapter and John Hammond of the Scottish Chapter for working closely with OARS as we replaced and traced many issues. OARS is investigating possible alternatives to our current service.
Have you done your part to participate in the "good doers" program, spearheaded by our Public Education Committee, under the direction of Wayne Mezitt and Ed Reiley? The world wants to know which rhododendrons and azaleas do best in your special microclimate. Contact your chapter president, district director, or the committee chairmen TODAY. This is a most important project which will give the public access to information about the latest and best performers in your area. It's YOUR project.
Betty Spady has the Speakers' Bureau list completely current and ready for use. This is a fine compilation of nearly 400 speakers willing to offer programs, workshops, and other educational opportunities to your chapter. Because of the high cost of publishing, and in an effort to protect the privacy of our speakers, the list is available on the Internet but must be accessed through your chapter officers. Please contact a chapter officer today if you have need for a speaker. Herb Spady has prepared a comprehensive Website for the Speakers' Bureau, also accessible through your chapter. Printed copies of the Speakers' Bureau publication are available to members only, through OARS. The publication is $10 for U.S. and Canadian mailings, and $15 overseas.
Education is what we're all about. There are many projects under way in our committees which will elevate public awareness of the genus Rhododendron. All of the methods of getting information into the hands of the public are very costly. Please consider a donation to the General Fund, from which budget is created for special projects. You can add it to your dues, or if you've already paid for this year, send a check to OARS or send it through your chapter treasurer.
As we approach December 31, your bank and your stockbroker have assured you that they have done everything possible to assure a smooth transition through the Y2K problem. Is OARS prepared? There's a good chance that if you can talk to your bank on January 1, OARS will be rowing along quite nicely too!
Office of the American Rhododendron Society "OARS - Rowing for You!”