Membership Growing with More Fun on the Way

November is the month for family gatherings and celebrations, but I feel as if Houston Orchid Society had an early start because we had a fun October picnic. There is much to celebrate! Looking forward to seeing you all Thursday, November 2. The meeting begins at 7:30pm, but folks start gathering any time after 6:00pm.

More than 50 people attended the picnic, judging, and plant auction. The weather was quite tolerable early in the day. Big round tables under the portico on the Rice side of the church made a comfortable place to chat and enjoy the company. My goofy idea for a Picnic Basket Contest actually turned out to be competitive. Donna Diggons’s “Eco Friendly” entry was the winner. Set up in a new wooden orchid basket, it outshone my simple paper bag with “Bee’s Wrap” brand reusable sandwich wrap.

After eating outdoors, we moved into the meeting room where Jay Balchan led a spirited auction of donated plants. Special thanks to everyone who purchased and who pitched in, including Jay, Brian, and Don, who maintained the donated plants over this terrible summer. Mature Cattleyas and Vandas were the big-ticket items.

Our membership list is growing, and new faces are coming in to participate. HOS has advanced to have its own entity with Zoom and AV connections at meetings, so there is no longer a need to use members’ personal accounts. Thank you, Brian Fitzgerald, for taking the lead on that. Brian is working with new member Tayllor Green to succeed him as AV technician. Then, he’s planning to take over the Plant Auctions for 2024.

Many other volunteer opportunities will come open for the coming year. There are ways to help at meetings, ongoing tasks, and special events. The Annual Orchid Show & Sale is slated for March 7, 8, 9, and 10 at Memorial City Mall. Please stop by the Welcome Table at the meeting to see what duties are available. It’s always great to get involved with this dynamic group, as we do fun stuff!

There is a good slate of officers to elect at the November meeting. Check out the list of candidates and learn about the election process.

The November meeting program will be a chance to use HOS’s enhanced Zoom account. The speaker is former American Orchid Society President, Ron Hatton. Ron has been to Houston several times over the years, and it will be great to get another lesson in orchid love from him.

—Sarah Bentley, President