From the Executive Director
STROKE! STROKE! STROKE!
There's no doubt the privileges of membership in the Society reveal themselves most in the springtime. Were you one of the lucky members who traveled to shows and chapter meetings outside your home territory this year? Imagine the hundreds of private member gardens that were available to you as a member of the Society, simply by contacting a chapter away from home.
Autumn is renewal time, and while you're sitting in the shade with that latest rhododendron book, why not promise to renew your dues early this year. By renewing early you'll save time and money for your chapter treasurers.
The Society's Board of Directors has approved the use of credit cards. Because of the high cost of this convenience, we urge you to avoid the use of credit cards if possible. Credit card use is intended to relieve the high cost of money orders for members renewing outside the U.S. Please remember that funds targeted for Society projects may be thrown to the wind if we must pay high fees to maintain a mere convenience. When it's time to renew, grab the checkbook!
OARS never stops rowing for you! While you're checking your indumentum, I'm working closely with our officers and committees to develop innovative ways to serve you. An armchair trip to Pukeiti, new Zealand's finest rhododendron garden, or a study of the flora of Sikkim and the Himalayas, were made available in the last journal. This month we can reaffirm the quality of life we enjoy in the Society, as Fran Sumner writes of a love affair. Check out our "Book Offers Exclusively for Members" in this issue. And please note the Rhododendron Handbook is available in its new revised edition.
Kudos to outstanding performers! The Mason-Dixon and Noyo Chapters overshot their membership goals very early this year. It's rumored that the entire Gualala California Lyon's Club has given up bowling and turned their energies to rhododendron gardening. The Tacoma Chapter achieved a monumental goal of having one thousand trusses at their show! What a feat, and congratulations! The inspiring Philadelphia Flower Show created stimulus for chapters along the Eastern seaboard, and many of those poor unfortunates who didn't know about our special family were lured in during these grand events. And the grand finale, that great celebration at Niagara Falls and a chance to share our passion with old friends and new. We are all truly grateful to District 12 for bringing us this outstanding international event.
It's nice chatting with you, but I need to go and check on the OARS. I can't leave them for long without one falling overboard, or one getting broken, so it's back to steerage! Okay, everyone, STROKE! STROKE! STROKE!
Office of the American Rhododendron Society "OARS - Rowing for You!"