November President's Corner

By Rudi Opderbeck
FOC President

2013-10-31 19.22.28We had an exciting October at the Conservatory, including the amazingly successful and spooky Third Annual Haunted Conservatory!

Some spectacular carved pumpkins were submitted to the Pumpkin Carving Contest and the night was filled with costumed creatures of all ages enjoying hot cider and treats, plus fortunes read by Madame Pomegranate.

I particularly enjoy the Halloween event. It is still daylight when it begins, but as sun sets,  I enjoy watching the Conservatory as the light changes; the plant colors start washing out and their form and structure become more dominant. It’s one of the few times the public has a chance to see inside the Conservatory after dark, and the shadows cast and ambiance lend themselves perfectly to Halloween night.

While preparing for our 2nd Annual Board Retreat in October, I noted that we had managed to meet about two-thirds of our 2013 goals! This was  in spite of a tumultuous year which unfortunately required a great deal of our attention. Starting in January, I will report on our progress quarterly. My goal is to have an even higher completion rate in 2014!

The Conservatory display is at its peak for Fall, and currently features Chrysanthemums in formal standard and cascade formats as well as pot mums. Many of the standard format Chrysanthemums are from our Chinese collection.  The Seasonal & Cactus Houses will be closed the week after Thanksgiving as Santa’s elves prepare for the coming Holiday!


The FOC is a Volunteer based operation; we only have 3 part-time employees that help out with various functions. We are looking for volunteers for the following:

Train Engineer. (Seeking 10 volunteers)

  • For December only, we are looking for outgoing people to run the Conservatory Express train set that will be on display in the Seasonal house.
  • Engineers will operate a simple TV Style remote control for the train, and interact with the public.
  • 2 Hour shifts on Saturdays & Sundays. 11-1pm & 1-3pm.
  •  Training & Engineer’s Cap provided. No experience required.

Marketing (Seeking 2 volunteers)

  • We are looking for people to assist us in maturing our Marketing strategy and implementation of key points.
  • Ongoing. 1-4 hours per month.

Event Coordinator (Seeking 1-2 volunteers)

  • Do you LOVE a well run event?!? Are you great at planning and implementing events?? We are looking for people to help plan & implement events with the FOC. The FOC usually hosts 1-2 events per month.
  • Ongoing. 1-6 hours per month.

If any of these opportunities appeal to you, please email me with your interest:  

Rudi Opderbeck Signature


President, Friends of the Conservatory

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