2011 AIS Region 2 Annual Fall Meeting
Vaughn Sayles

AIS Members and spouses from Region 2 journeyed to Fulton, New York, for the 2011 Region 2 Fall Meeting on the fourth weekend of September. The Central New York Iris Society (CNYIS) hosted the event and Ron and Donna James did an amazing job of putting it all together and making the annual fall meeting enjoyable and productive.


The weekend started with a wine and cheese tasting at Ron and Donna’s home on Friday evening followed by a bountiful dinner.  Ron and Donna outdid themselves with the variety of tasty foods they had prepared. They tried to feature New York State products and did it well. The great food and chance to socialize was the highlight of the weekend.


Saturday started with registration, setting up the Silent Auction and the executive board meeting. These activities were followed by the annual business meeting. Donna Lowry, our AIS Regional Vice President, kept everyone on track as we attended to the business of Region 2. A special treat was Dana Borglum passing around the Randolph Perry Medal which he received in 2010 for his serendipitous iris ‘Ally Oops.’


Donna James, president of the CNYIS, presented a number of awards.  She presented Vaughn Sayles with an AIS Regional Vice President pin recognizing his service as RVP for Region 2 from 2008-2011.  Since Judy Tucholski-Zon our Awards and Exhibitions Chairperson was unable to attend, Donna awarded the Region 2 Exhibition Awards.  The Blenis Award was awarded to David Baehre for the tall bearded iris ‘Wishful Thinking’. The award will be presented to David at the WNYIS’s fall meeting. The Peckham award for the best historic iris was awarded to Vaughn Sayles for the standard dwarf bearded iris ‘Blue Denim’. The Magdalen Award for the best median iris was not awarded this year.  Donna awarded the McGarvey Award for best beardless iris to Janette Smith for the Japanese iris ‘Crystal Halo’.

Donna also awarded the AIS Silver Medal for the most blue ribbons and the AIS Bronze Medal for the second most blue ribbons received at the CNYIS 2011 Iris Show.  The recipients were MJ Urist (silver) and Janette Smith (bronze).

Dorothy Stiefel presented the 2011 Irwin A. Conroe Distinguished Service Award to Vaughn Sayles.


Following the conclusion of the Region 2 Annual Business Meeting, the attendees finalized their bids on items in the silent auction.  The next event was lunch where we enjoyed a tasty buffet prepared by the staff at the Riverside Inn. 


Following the meal our featured speaker, R. Dennis Hager who currently is President of the Japanese Iris Society, presented a program on “Sex Education for Iris Breeders”. His light hearted program took a peek at plant reproduction through the eyes of an iris hybridizer (get your toothpicks ready) and included some thoughts on germinating seeds.


While the group was listening to Dennis’ presentation, Janette Smith and Dorothy Stiefel were busy tallying the auction bids and organizing the purchases.  The winning bidders for the Silent Auction items were announced during the break following the featured presentation. The piles of plants and other items indicated that several individuals added to their collections from the nice assortment of iris and iris related items that were auctioned off. A total of $490.00 was collected for Region 2 and thanks go to all who set up and conducted the auction and to those who donated and bid on the items. 


The weekend’s activities were concluded by Dennis giving a judges training on Japanese iris.  All too soon it was time to head home.


Thanks to the CNYIS for being such great hosts and to Ron and Donna James who made sure that everything went well and to EJ Mattson for taking pictures.