JARS v64n1 - From the Executive Director

From the Executive Director
Laura Grant
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Laura Grant
Laura Grant

Happy New Year!

As some of us are enjoying the early rhododendron blooms in our gardens and other rhodies sleep under a blanket of snow, our 23 committees are hard at work.

Bob Weissman, chairman of the Electronic Media and Digital Publications, is updating our two websites on regular basis.

Wing Fong, the Program Library chairman, has been busy producing fabulous DVDs for your enjoyment. These make a great gift to your gardening friends. Harold Greer is waiting to take your book order.

Don Smart and Bob Weissman are working on setting up a system of on-line renewal for the overseas members who have had challenges with money transfers.

Shirley Rock, the Membership chairperson, has created a DVD that is full of good ideas for membership recruitment and keeping your chapter vibrant and fun. Please contact Shirley if your chapter has not received a copy.

Jerry Reynolds, Publicity and Public Relations chairman, is busy promoting the Rhododendrons of the Year 2010 through press releases to all well known publications in North America.

Jay Murray, Registrar of Plant Names in US, is kept very busy registering all the many wonderful rhododendron and azalea hybrids produced by our talented members.

At our fall conference in Lionville, PA, our Endowment chairman, Bill Mangels, announced that the American Rhododendron Society will be, once again, providing funds in 2010 through its Endowment Grant Program. Since its inception in 2002 the Society's Board has directed over $42,000 to a variety of projects. Each grantee's request included a project to assist the Society's purpose of "encouragement of the culture of rhododendrons, including azaleas, and the increase of the general understanding of and interest in all aspects of these plants." Activities eligible for financial assistance are programs and projects that educate the general public and ARS membership in the growing and culture of rhododendrons. Educational publications may be included for consideration of a grant. The guidelines may be obtained from the ARS web site www.arsoffice.org. Questions regarding the program may be directed to either cochair of the Endowment Fund Committee, Bill Mangels, or Jeff Cheyne.

This is great time to plan a trip to Long Island in the peak of rhododendron bloom, May 14-17, 2010, for the annual ARS Convention. The 75th Anniversary of the German Rhododendron Society will follow in Bremen May 18-25, 2010.

Hope to see many of you then.