Letter to the Editor
At the March 26, 1999, Rhododendron Species Foundation Executive Committee meeting, the officers voted to officially end the second endowment challenge. A total of $54,000 has been raised toward the $100,000 challenge. Our benefactor has agreed to match $50,000 of that. This brings the total of $900,000 raised in one and a half years to increase the endowment fund to $1,400,000 at this date. The portfolio is invested in fixed income investments, balanced mutual funds, and growth mutual funds. Our account executive works closely with the treasurer and the RSF finance committee to monitor the stability of these investments, and they are performing well.
Up to 5 percent of the value of the fund earned in interest and dividends can be distributed to operations each year. This has been a hard fought effort in which so many of you have participated. We can all take pride in this major accomplishment. Special thanks go to Bill Lindeman, treasurer, and chairman of the task force to meet the two endowment challenges. But most of all, our heartfelt gratitude goes to the benefactor who made all this possible!
Twenty-one ARS chapters have sent donations toward the endowment challenges. They are: California, Cascade, De Anza, Gig Harbor, Grays Harbor, Juan de Fuca, Kitsap, Lewis County, Middle Atlantic, New York, Northeastern Regional, Noyo, Olympia, Olympic Peninsula, Portland, Shelton, Southeastern, Southwest Oregon, Tennessee Valley, Tualatin, and Valley Forge. This is truly outstanding, since many of those chapters are not members of RSF. Our thanks go out to each and every ARS member and chapter who has helped us raise this $454,000. This effort, plus the full cooperation and encouragement shown by the 1999 Convention Committee, inviting us to participate, and to provide a full day's International Rhododendron Species Symposium just prior to your Convention is proof that the two organizations are mutually beneficial to one another, and can serve one another with pride. We hope your tour of our Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden was a pleasant one, and that you will also take pride in the many changes and improvements you will find there.