As the months begin to turn cooler and our friends who have been away for the summer begin to return, I am excited about the season that lies ahead of us.
Before I focus my attention here, let’s take a moment to celebrate the tremendous honors bestowed upon Selby Gardens this past summer. In June, Selby Gardens became a Smithsonian Affiliate and the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce named Selby Gardens the “Small Business of the Year.” In July, we announced that, for the first time since Selby Gardens opened to the public, we are debt free!
Our team continues our steadfast efforts to elevate Selby Gardens’ infrastructure to the same world-class level as our collections. Positive endorsements for the Master Plan continue to affirm the numerous benefits this undertaking will bring to the community, region, and the world. Most spectacularly, Marie Selby’s closest living relatives support the Master Plan.
Our botanists have been busy in the field this summer, too! Dr. Sally Chambers studied in Dominica on a National Geographic Explorer Grant, and Dr. Toscano de Brito and volunteer Dr. Wade Collier led work in Brazil.
As we move into the fall, there are many reasons and ways to celebrate, experience, and support the Gardens.
Selby Gardens welcomes a new Chair, and two new members to the Board of Trustees. Two new staff members joined the team as well. The Gardens will embrace hundreds of new underserved youth through the new My Garden community program and new membership benefits offer additional value to Gardens’ members.
The 2019 Orchid Show: Blossoms of Asia, focusing on the rare and spectacular Asian orchids in our collection opens October 12 and the beloved Lights in Bloom holiday event will return with 18 nights this year!
Your unwavering support in all its forms continues to be invaluable and I cannot thank you enough. I hope that the new issue of the Tropical Dispatch inspires and encourages you to get more involved with Selby Gardens this fall.
See you in the Gardens!
Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President and CEO