Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Farrah Fawcett Foundation and Orchids

Orchids are helping charitable organizations
Posted: Friday, December 25, 2015 12:15 am
By Arthur Chadwick Special Correspondent

Charitable organizations have long used orchids in their fundraising events.

Partygoers bid on lavish, silent-auction items that can fetch upward of $500 each. Fancy bowls filled with blooming plants, a personal house call from a horticulture expert and a one year membership in the Orchid of the Month club all generate attention.

Live auctions can get frenzied as bidders vie for bigger ticket items such as a set of century-old botanical prints, an established orchid collection or the rights to name a new hybrid. Even the seated dinner guests can participate by purchasing the flowering centerpieces that adorn the banquet tables. Orchids add a glamorous element to any function and help to generate revenue for the charity.

Alana Stewart
Recently, a Beverly Hills, Calif., nonprofit came up with an innovative approach that incorporates orchids into their annual fundraiser. The Farrah Fawcett Foundation, whose mission is “to provide funding for cutting edge cancer research, prevention, and treatment,” unveiled a special cattleya at its “Stand Up 2 Cancer” Tex/Mex Fiesta. The delicate pinky lavender hybrid was named after the organization’s late founder, actress and model Farrah Fawcett.

Attendees of the event included many of the big names in Hollywood who were Fawcett’s peers, including Ryan O’Neal, George Hamilton, and Cheryl Tiegs. The event honored Fawcett’s co-star on the TV show “Charlie’s Angels,” Jaclyn Smith, and the lively music was provided by Lyle Lovett, a Grammy winner.

Jaclyn Smith
A large photograph of the flower was displayed alongside a caption explaining the history of the hybrid. The foundation had worked closely with a grower to get the right color and style. The breeding lineage was all pedigree and the plants took seven years to bloom from seed. The colors were variable and feminine — ranging from blush to pale pink to rose. Keith Edmier, a well-known artist and sculpture, created a sculpture of the flower which was auctioned at the event.

The event raised $500,000. After it was over, the foundation thanked many donors and supporters by giving them their own Farrah orchid — a keepsake to remember the evening.

But it was more than a keepsake.

The special hybrid, Brassolaeliocattleya Farrah Fawcett (C Bold Swan x Blc Goldenzelle), was an exclusive orchid. There were only a few dozen produced and they were all given away to people who care about Fawcett and her cause.

Those lucky orchid recipients will rejoice in the legacy and spirit of Farrah Fawcett every year when the lovely blossoms open. For more information see,
Arthur Chadwick is president of Chadwick & Son Orchids Inc. You may send questions to 1240 Dorset Road, Powhatan, Va. 23139, (804) 598-7560 or by email at Previous columns are on his website,


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your message. Upon review it may, or may not be posted.