San Diego County Orchid Society


About the SDCOS Conservation Committee

The SDCOS Conservation Committee was established in 1990 after Jerry Garner proposed using surplus society funds for orchid conservation at a Species Group Meeting. Instead, the members raised $3640 by selling donated plants at the society’s annual spring show. Combined with an additional $1000 from the society, the funds were donated to the Massachusetts Audubon Society for the Rio Bravo Conservation Area in Belize.

In 1998, the SDCOS officially formed the Conservation Committee with Peter Tobias as chair to support orchid conservation projects.

Since 1991, they have awarded over $297,000 to projects in 24 countries. Their pioneering efforts were recognized with the prestigious Conservation Award from the American Orchid Society in 2004, as the first local orchid society with a dedicated funding program for global orchid conservation.

The current chair of the SDCOS conservation committee is Ron Kaufmann. He can be reached at


The majority of our funding is derived from plant donations generously provided by SDCOS members and local orchid growers, which includes surplus seedlings from nurseries.

These plants are subsequently sold at our orchid show and sale events, as well as through auctions or raffles.

We enthusiastically welcome plant donations at any time and ensure their proper care, including repotting, until the next sales event.

The committee actively seeks volunteers who can assist as sales staff during the show and sales events, as well as with plant care.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact:

Ron Kaufmann (; Betty Kelepecz ( ); Debby Halliday ( )

To donate plants, please reach out to:

Peter Tobias ( ); Betty Kelepecz ( ); Debby Halliday ( )

In addition, we accept cash donations at our general meetings or during our orchid show and sale events, facilitated through our user-friendly point-of-sale system. Furthermore, you can make donations directly on our website by clicking the button below.

The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2024.