Thursday, May 6, 2021

An Orchid Double Hitter

Tom Coffey showing Vanda. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Tom Coffey showing Vanda. SUBMITTED PHOTO


Come one, come all! The orchid-loving public is invited to attend this rare “Orchid Double-Hitter” on May 21, 2015 at the Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church at 1225 Piper Blvd., Naples, FL 34110 for the Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance’s “Third Thursday” Member Event. Attendance is free.

The evening begins at 6:30 PM with a sale of rare and exotic orchids flown in from Hawaii just for the event. “I’ll be there when the doors open,” said Carmina Rodriguez Villa, a Naples orchid collector and member of the Alliance. “This is an opportunity to find unusual orchids, so I’ll go early to get the best pick.” Credit cards will be accepted.

Following the sale, attendees will hear American Orchid Society award-winning exhibitor Tom Coffey talk about “Vivacious Vandas.” Are larger flowers better? Does color matter most? Just how do you grow these orchids with the long hanging roots? These and other questions will be answered through knowledge accumulated over 30 years of exhibiting award-winning orchids. Coffey has won around 150 awards from the American Orchid Society, as well as winning the Grand Champion Award during the 63rd annual Miami International Orchid Show. He prides himself in receiving Certificates of Cultural Merit and Cultural Excellence, both of which give recognition to the grower of the plant, rather than the orchid itself. “It’s very rewarding to be recognized for growing a plant to be outstandingly bountiful,” he said. Coffey also creates new hybrids, and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. He serves as president of the Alliance, and is an active community outreach speaker.

Another highlight of the evening will be the Monthly Exhibition Judging, where Alliance members participate as exhibitors as well as judges, winning accolades for beautifully grown plants.

An orchid raffle will be held, with proceeds to support the organization’s educational endeavors.

The Alliance welcomes new members. Come and learn with us! The Gulf Coast Orchid Alliance is a Florida 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2012 to promote interest in orchids – focusing on orchid education, community outreach and orchid conservation, and bringing people together in an enjoyable, inclusive atmosphere.

The Alliance also sponsors a year-round “Orchid Rescue Mission”, taking donations of out-of-bloom or unwanted orchids that are then used for educational purposes. Free pick up is available by calling 239-498-9741.

Please mark your calendar for Thursday, May 21! For information call 239-498-9741 or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *