On the eve of the 72nd annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show at Earl Warren Showgrounds, the William Sansum Diabetes Center held a Gala Preview Party in this spectacular setting.
With a theme this year of “Orchid Mystique,” the show featured more than 50 orchid exhibitors and vendors from around the world. Guests sipped wine, nibbled on hors-d’oeuvres, and strolled the exhibition hall that was overflowing with stunning orchid displays. Docent-lead tours were available for those seeking an in-depth educational experience.
During the short program, William Sansum Diabetes Center Executive Director Ellen Goodstein thanked the guests for supporting the cause of research, education, and care of diabetes. She shared how in the United States, every 19 seconds, someone is diagnosed with diabetes and that diabetes is probably the largest epidemic in the United States and predictions are that it will only get worse. Goodstein pointed to a UCLA study that showed that in California, diabetes and pre-diabetes affects more than 50 percent of the population.
One of the docents, Arthur Pinkers, who is President of the San Fernando Orchid Society, shared how because of the significant rain this season, orchid blooms have been delayed, in some cases by a few months, but the wet weather has not affected the quality of the flowers. He noted that there are 25,000 to 35,000 different orchid species and 400,000 to 500,000 hybrids.
The William Sansum Diabetes Center develops new treatment protocols and tests new drugs and medical devices for their efficacy and safety. It is known for its work in the field of diabetes and pregnancy. Thanks to protocols developed at the center, women with diabetes can now deliver healthy babies. In 2016, 110 healthy babies were born through the program.
The center is also known for its ongoing work in the development of artificial pancreas technology, which strives to enable patients to have automated glucose control. In addition, it provides direct clinical care to patients and offers diabetes and nutrition education to Santa Barbara residents. For more information about the William Sansum Diabetes Center, go to www.sansum.org.
The Santa Barbara International Orchid Show had exhibits, plant sales, orchid art and photography, culture demonstrations and floral arrangements. The show ran through Sunday at Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real. For more information about the show, go to sborchidshow.com.
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By Gail Arnold