Presidents Message

By Kathrin Harris

This is supposed to be the Autumn edition of the Magazine, but our Publications Chair, Adam, has been patiently waiting over two months for me to write the President’s Message. While I imagine he has had a chance to add more content, I’m pushing the envelope as far as this issue still counting toward Fall. (Editor’s note: I’m not changing the title now…)

As you enjoy participating in your local clubs’ meetings and events during the holiday season, I’d like to remind you of a few BSF events and timelines coming up:

EPCOT’s 2023 Flower & Garden Festival Bonsai Exhibit:

All members may submit a tree (think LARGE) for consideration to display during this spring to summer event. Deadline for submission is December 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm.  All expectations and requirements are available on the BSF website, as well as the submission form: Epcot 2023

A selection panel consisting of both Disney and BSF members chooses 26 trees to be displayed for thousands of visitors to admire among entries submitted. It is an honor and a fascinating adventure to have a tree selected. Good luck to all those who choose to submit a tree for consideration.

2023 CONVENTION –  Colors of Nature!  “A color is as strong as the impression it creates”

As every year, the convention will take place on Memorial Day weekend at the Florida Hotel in Orlando. This year’s headliners are Elsa Boudouri from Italy (originally from Greece, her YouTube channel: Bonsai Cosmos) and Jose E. Rodriguez from Puerto Rico (His Facebook page ).

  The convention website will go live on February 1, at which time available workshops are announced/described, information for volunteer, scholarship, club-night sign-ups is provided, and the submission for display consideration becomes available. More information about the website and all it contains will be emailed after the new year.

Logo Contest – we are seeking member input for this year’s theme of “COLOR“. If you have an idea and a bit of artistic initiative, please submit your ideas for a logo to match the theme via the website: LOGO CONTEST LINK

The entry form suggests submissions are due Dec 3, but since I am the reason this newsletter information is tardy, the deadline is extended to Dec 23.


Exhibit – the exhibition of member trees (between 40-50 depending on size of trees selected) is a highlight of the event, and a wonderful learning experience for both owners who are selected to display their trees, as well as the viewers. The display is always free of charge and open for anyone wishing to see it. Submission information will be sent after the new year, as the convention website is nearing going live.

Scholarship Competition – an excellent opportunity for one member from each of our nine districts to show off their talent and compete for the $1000 first and $500 second-place PRIZE. Clubs should be soliciting members who may be interested in representing their district in this annual event. Should there be more than one candidate in a given club, the club holds a competition to decide which member represents them. Thereafter, members of each club within a district (some districts enjoy no competition as there is only one club) have a run-off to determine which candidate should compete in May at the convention. These local competitions are fun events for both competitors and club members. If you are interested to compete but your club has not advertised this event, nudge them and request to be considered a competitor!

Club Night – this is your club’s opportunity to get together and plan something that can involve many members. Clubs conceive of the bonsai creation they will work on, provide all the required materials, have as many members as possible participating on Saturday night during the convention, and are then judged for best execution and result by our headliner artists. Winning clubs are awarded $500 prize, and all creations are auctioned off at the end of the evening to benefit BSF.

This year we have chosen a theme: Land And Water. Try your best to incorporate those two ideas into the design. (Hint: the projects don’t necessarily need to be wet or dry).

Club Tree Exhibit-This is a chance for each club to come together and choose a tree to represent your members in a club-only exhibit. The clubs decide which tree to send to the convention, with the theme being “Color” (Hint: of course flowers have color, but so do some trees’ foliage).

Volunteers -As with everything, especially with non-profit organizations such as ours, volunteers are vital to our success! We need YOUR willingness to put in a few hours (or more) to help with raffles, during workshops, the exhibit, registration, set-up, tear-down…in other words, hundreds of hours are needing to be filled. There is an appreciable perk for volunteering: getting the hotel room night(s) under the BSF umbrella that means you don’t pay tax or “resort fee” (saving over $40/night!). Volunteers register their willingness to help, then subsequently sign up for the room nights and pay BSF directly via the website.

January Board Meeting-The BSF Board consists of Officers and District Trustees. We meet twice annually in Orlando: once in January, and once during the convention. These meetings are open to all BSF members for observation. If you have input, or a suggestion for an agenda item, please feel free to email me:  Our January meeting will take place on Saturday, January 14, from 9am to noon at the Florida Hotel.

I wish you all a joyous, peaceful, and reflective holiday season, one that will usher in a new year of health, contentment, and new possibilities! Having lost both my father and my husband this year will make our family celebration quite different, but life continues, and watching my new 8-month-old granddaughter develop makes it all worthwhile.