MRHS President's Message

Spring, 2018

Winter is not yet ready to give up its grip here in Chicago. As I write this, with the official start of spring just four days away, the forecast is for a mix of sleet, freezing rain, and snow this evening and into tomorrow morning. I guess I should not complain, as it has been a relatively mild winter here, especially compared to what our friends in the northern part of our Midwest region have experienced this year. Still, I am looking for-ward to spending more time outside without the heavy coat, scarf, and gloves.

Last fall, we tried out a new idea. Rather than holding a Winter Conference last January, we held a Fall event in September in Davenport. While nearly everyone in attendance who gave feedback was pleased with the event, attendance fell short of what we had hoped. With the help of a dedicated long-time member of the Midwest Regional Hosta Society, Jack Barta, MRHS has decided to revive the Winter Conference for 2019 in a new venue. Jack is busy planning an event to be held February 2nd in Milwaukee. At this point, I do know that there will be a full compliment of speakers on Saturday, February 2, 2019. The hotel arrangements are being finalized, and a special room rate will be available for Friday, February 1st and Saturday, February 2nd. Hotel guests will have a full buffet breakfast included in the hotel cost. A hospitality room is planned for Friday and Saturday nights. A hosta seed sale is being planned. Class-rooms for the Saturday presentations will be located within the hotel. More details will be available within the next few weeks, so please check the MRHS website, for more information, as it becomes available.

We hope that all of you can attend "Hostas Play in Peoria" July 12, 13, and 14. We will be meeting at the Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino in East Peoria. The local Central Illinois Hosta Society (CIHS) is putting together an event that you will not want to miss. Beautiful gardens, a Leaf Show, the Seed Growers Show, the auction, a convention gift plant (Hosta 'Playin' Peoria'), and multiple vendors will satisfy your every wish for Hostas. The Peoria area offers multiple venues for exploration with everything from professional Peoria Chiefs baseball to the Caterpillar Visitors Center, where you can operate simulators of many of the Caterpillar products. The Peoria Zoo, Wildlife Prairie Park, with its Bison and Elk herds, the Peoria Riverfront Museum, multiple restaurants and, of course, the Par-A-Dice Casino, for those of you inclined to wager, await your exploration. Most importantly, you will find the local members of the CIHS to be warm, welcoming, and helpful.

The registration form is included in this newsletter. As an incentive for early registration, the MRHS Board has decided to offer a drawing for two paid registrations. Here's how it works. Register for the convention and pay your registration fee by May 31, 2018. At the Friday night Banquet on July 13th, prior to the live auction, the two local co-chairs of the Peoria Convention, Debbie McCollum and Penelope Bocelli will draw two registration numbers (the number on your Convention Badge). The drawing will be supervised by the MRHS President. You must be present at the banquet to win. MRHS Board members and convention speakers are not eligible to win.

The two lucky winners will receive a check for $165.00 to reimburse their registration fee. Be sure to register and pay your registration fee on or before May 31, 2018 to be eligible for the drawing. Good luck to all of you!

One other incentive for attending is being offered. All current MRHS Members who attend will be given an additional one-year mem-bership in MRHS at no cost. Any MRHS current member who attends the convention must talk to Barb Schroeder, the Membership Secretary to receive this added benefit.

We look forward to seeing you this summer in East Peoria, Illinois. Also, mark your calendar for 2019 to join us in Green Bay, Wisconsin for our first joint convention with the American Hosta Society.

Yours in the Friendship Plant,

Barry Ankney
MRHS President
330 South Michigan Avenue, Apt. 1902
Chicago, IL 60604-4352

To see the current newsletter, please join the Midwest Regional Hosta Society by contacting our Membership Chairperson or any of the Officers. Or, click here for a printable MRHS Membership Form. By joining the society, you will receive your own copy of our informative and entertaining newsletter.