Nonprofit Review: American Rose Society

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Nothing generates more enthusiasm in me than a passion for roses.  The perfection of the rose is fascinating in all of its states, and as writer Paulo Coelho puts it, “The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change: yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.”  Perfectly put, and a lovely way of defining the state of change, because through a rose’s lifespan, you see how change can be for the good.

Roses are emblematic symbols as well.  The rose is the national flower of America (hence why Miss America always accepts the crown with a bouquet of red roses) and the New Year is rung in with the Tournament of Roses (Rose Parade) in Pasadena, California each year, symbolizing the timelessness of tradition and the dawn of a new year, similar to the freshness of a rose.

The American Rose Society was founded in 1892, and it first began as a trade society for florists.  The first rose show was in 1900 in New York City and judges were left to their own devices of determining which rose was considered the “best” rose.  Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so these selections are purely based on the inclinations of each of the judges.  Today, the American Rose Society lives on with chapters all around the country.  The San Francisco Rose Society is notable for its work in continuing to cultivate interest and passion for the love of roses.

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