November, 2015

November, 2015

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Next Meeting

When:  Monday, November 9, 2015 at 7:00p.m. 
Where:  Mounts Auditorium
Refreshments:  Donnie Brown & Nancy Cohen
Badge Plant:     Frances Drescher
Program:  - Member swap and sale; live auction; silent auction

President’s Message

Our October meeting featured a guest speaker from Louisiana, Dr. Freda Holley, a world renowned begonia hybridizer. Freda spoke about the chromosome content of various begonias and explained which types could be most successfully crossed depending on their chromosomes. For example, thick stem begonias have either 38 or 56 chromosomes and thus can be crossed with cane begonias and some (those with 56) can be crossed with rhizomatous begonias. We enjoyed Freda’s presentation which was certainly one of the more technical ones we had this year.

A financial review committee was appointed to check the books by the end of the year. Nancy Cohen will chair the committee along with Petra Russell and Virginia Jens. Ed Whelan, chairman of the nominating committee, proposed a slate of officers to be voted on at our next meeting: Patrick Dempsey, President, Pauline Ma, Vice President, Petra Russell, Secretary, Frances Drescher, Treasurer, Suellen Solodar, National Rep. This slate would serve for 2016. Anyone who wishes to be considered for one of these positions should contact Ed Whelan prior to our next meeting.

An email blast has gone out with people’s assignments to assist at the Mounts Plant Sale which will be held on November 7 and 8. If you have not yet volunteered and can help even for an hour or two so that none of us will need to work the whole day, please contact Suellen Solodar at


This meeting will be an opportunity to sell or swap any plants or accessories or related items to other members. Simply bring in a plant, a pretty container, clean extra pots, orchid supplies, etc . and then price them for sale or swap with another member. In addition, any plants left over from the plant sale which ends only the day before our meeting, will be auctioned off in a live auction. And in addition, we have about ten 4” plants most of which are new introductions from Palm Hammock that will be sold in a silent auction.

Finally, I urge you to renew your membership at the November meeting. Our December meeting which features our holiday party and begonia bingo will be open to all but ONLY MEMBERS WHOSE MEMBERSHIP IS CURRENT WILL BE ABLE TO PLAY BEGONIA BINGO, as winning these free plants is one of our membership perks. See you at our booth at the plant sale!

Suellen Solodar
President, 2015

Meeting Minutes for November 5, 2015

President Suellen Solodar called the meeting to order at 7:30pm.

Thanks to Lee Statkewitz and Patrick Dempsey for getting to the building early to hold the room for our meeting.

Thanks to everyone that brought refreshments.

Visitors: Chris Kitson and Dorothy Miley were also welcomed.

Treasurer’s report was given by Frances Drescher, reporting $2,282.38 in the bank.

Old Business

Suellen announced we are still looking for volunteers for the plant sale at Mounts November 6th and 7th.

The financial review committee will meet before the end of the year to review the finances.

Volunteers are needed for sale, a sign up sheet was passed around and also will be at up-coming October meeting.

Ed Whalen, chairman of the nominating committee announced that next month will be election of officers for 2016. The following individuals have accepted nomination: Patrick Dempsey for President; Pauline Ma for Vice President; Frances Drescher for Treasurer; Petra Russell for Secretary; Suellen Solodar for National Representative . Voting will be held for new slate at next meeting. If anyone would like to be considered for any position on the board please contact Ed prior to next meeting.

Suellen introduced guest speaker Dr. Freda Holley. Dr. Holley has won ABS medal as a hybridizer, and author of book “Raising Cane: Experiences in Growing the Species Cane Begonia”.

Dr. Holley’s presentation on the genetics of Begonia plants and their seed properties. She explained the chromosome properties and the DNA makeup of various begonias related to their growth.

Dr. Holley provided handouts that listed various species of Begonias with their known chromosome count, as we followed this in-depth presentation. In addition, Dr. Holley donated seed packages with instructions to all in attendance.

Her presentation was very informative and we gained a lot of knowledge.

Respectfully submitted,
Petra Russell, Recording Secretary