April 2016

The time has finally arrived, after a very long and exhausting year for those of us organizing this event, we are 2 weeks away from the kickoff of the 2016 Asheville Orchid Festival! That means that it is time for our entire Society to step up and take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity this event presents to meet, learn, and buy rare plants from some of the best orchid growers on the planet! You will not get this opportunity in Asheville any time soon so make sure you take full advantage!

This months meeting will be a training meeting to give all of our volunteers the knowledge, understanding, and tools they (you) will need to be comfortable with the new roles we have this year. Whether you are staffing the ticket table, helping welcome AOS members at the Hilton, or anything else we will be holding training sessions on what those jobs will look like to be sure you have the knowledge and experience to help our attendees get what they need and enjoy their visit! We look forward to seeing you all there and to give you the info you need.

Here is a checklist of areas we still need your help:

1. Plants plants plants…We need all the blooming orchids we can get for the displays so either drop them off at the Arboretum on Wednesday morning, April 13, before 10AM or if you cannot make that time talk to Graham or me and we’ll help you find somewhere to deliver them in advance.

2. Staffing the ticket booth…we have good initial sign-ups but there are still some gaps so go online and help us where you can to fill those shortages.

Volunteer Page

3. A reminder that everyone is welcome to join on the ribbon judging on Thursday morning (April 14). I am serious when I say I’ve learned more about orchid quality doing this than any other activity I’ve ever done…and it is also a great time!

4. PARKING PASSES If you don’t email me with a snail mail, you won’t get one. Volunteers come first. If you are an Arboretum member, or if you plan to park at the Hilton and ride the bus, you won’t need one. The only way to get one now is to send an email to Graham at g_ram@yahoo.com and give him your home address to mail it to you (or let him know you can pick it up at this weeks meeting).

5. Maps, parking details, etc…will be coming on another email in about a week.

The event website for the Asheville Orchid Festival is has been live since November. It now has full registration, schedules, and all other details of the event so be sure to head on over to the Asheville Orchid Festival Website and check it out.

The Show committee has finalized the benefits package for all WNCOS members for the Festival this year. These details are as follows:

– The Show and Sale at the Arboretum will be free to all members
– The Preview Party (on Thursday evening) will be free to all WNCOS members.
– WNCOS Members receive free shuttle bus service between the Hilton and the NC Arboretum
– 4 hours of volunteer service will entitle a member to a free single day admission to speakers at the Hilton (day of your choice), a $45 value.
– 8 hours of volunteer service will entitle a members to a free full event pass, all speakers at the Hilton, a $99 value* Please note that admission to the Gala Banquet, and other meal events will require paid registration to partake in those events regardless of volunteer hours spent. This is due to the direct costs to the society for each additional person attending.* Also note that you will need to make a specific request to the Festival Committee in order to receive the free benefits. We will have to validate your volunteer hours and manually enter your registration into the system in order to avoid charges. More details on this will be provided as we get close to the event.

Volunteer Now!


The Asheville Orchid Festival is fast approaching (less than 2 weeks away as of this writing). There is much to be done before the start of the Festival on  April 13th, and the size of this event will require a significantly larger involvement from our membership to ensure success. You can sign up to volunteer at our Volunteer Page . We need all of you to really step up and be a part of this exciting Festival!

If you cannot make it to the meeting, you can see all the volunteer opportunities and sign-up for those you want to help support at our Volunteer Page now!

Take a look and see where the volunteer shortages are and help out where you can. In particular, we need all the help we can get for ticket sales and validation at the Arboretum, Registration at the Hilton, and if you are planning to bring food for the break room at the Arboretum at any time go on the volunteer form and let us know so we can plan and make sure everyone is well cared for throughout the weekend!

If you aren’t comfortable with the internet or don’t have a computer never fear, we will have the ability to assist you with volunteer registration at the meeting.