JARS v62n1 - From The President

From The President
Fred Whitney
Kent, Washington

Fred Whitney
Fred Whitney

As I sit "in the crow's nest" awaiting the next round of weather to travel through, I know spring will arrive and the rhodies will start regaling us with their colors and forms. Even though the mountains here in the Northwest are receiving uncharacteristic amounts of snow, which causes mountain pass closures both for avalanche control as well as snow removal, the promise of that moisture for the spring/summer is encouraging. And when we hear of the devastating tornadoes and ice storms in other parts of the world (US particularly), we still count our blessings.
We have success! Through the diligence of Western VP Don Smart, Shirley Rock, a charter member of the Pilchuck Chapter, has agreed to chair and form the Membership Committee! She will need those "willing members" who said they would participate as committee members but not be the chairman. So, now that we have the chair, let's get behind her (actually with her) and move forward on some significant membership activities!
We have been in contact with candidates to serve as the Bylaws and Policies Committee but have had declines as opposed to acceptances. Sooooo, we need at least two members to "volunteer for service" for this function in support of the Board and the ARS membership. Willing volunteers will be welcomed - it is not a requirement to be a "legal beagle." Main qualification is being supportive of the Society's writings.
We were unsuccessful in our application for the Stanley Smith Foundation grant even though Mary Parker and Laura put forth a strong application for the funds. That rejection left a hole in a couple of the items which were anticipated in this year's budget - namely: publishing of the vireya brochure and the clerical support for the ARS office. A donation was offered to get the brochure published and it is now available through the ARS office for use by our members in the promotion of this taxonomic group which comprises one-third of the Rhododendron genus. These brochures should be of interest to the public who should be encouraged to foster vireyas either as companions to orchids or "in lieu of orchids" (they have basically the same growing requirements but offer year-around bloom possibilities versus the "one shot glory of orchids").
As we came to the year-end, Treasurer Bill Mangels reminded us that it was not unheard of to solicit funds from our members (particularly those Life Members) as a part of their income tax cycle. That solicitation was quite successful resulting in receipt of $7,300 to minimize a budget gap in the Society's books for this year. A special THANK YOU to each of those members who responded to this solicitation. Yes, some negative responses and reactions were received to this "first time venture," but it is not inconsistent with many other non-profit organizations' mode of operations.
At the urging of our accountant, your Board will be examining the Endowment generated income as it also plays in the funding of the ARS operations. Without question, growth of the Endowment Fund is a prime objective of our organization, but we also need to ensure we are able to provide the services of the organization to our members. Both are actions which the officers of this organization are focused on.
Hoping to have seen a good representation of our membership at the Tulsa convention as well as the upcoming regional meetings and a GOOD BLOOM SEASON TO ALL!