March 15, 2011
I wanted to send along an email to let everyone know how much I enjoyed Congress and meeting the LO staff and our members.  

I had the opportunity to meet a number of wonderful gentlemen at Congress. One of the most interesting was John Wright. John was selling tickets for the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation (OHTF) draw, and I thought this was a wonderful opportunity for me to give back, so I bought a ticket.  

I sat down with John at his booth to hear a number of very intriguing stories about his history in the horticultural industry, and I was able to share with him how I had come to learn about the OHTF.  

John has encouraged me to share my story with you. So here goes:
When I was a student at University of Guelph, I had completed my first three horticulturist courses and I really wanted to move forward with my studies. Face it, I was hooked. We were a young family at this time, having just moved from Toronto to Barrie, and with bills to pay. I was only working part-time, so continuing my university education was just not going to happen.

That was until I received a letter from Landscape Ontario telling me I had been selected to receive an award through the OHTF.  

John Wright presented the award to me (one of my proudest moments) at the Awards of Excellence Night in 2001. With the funds provided through the OHTF, I was able to register for three more university courses.

Without the financial support from the OHTF, I would not have been able to achieve my goal, an Ontario Diploma in Horticulture in Landscape Design.   

That’s my story. I didn’t know at the time how involved I would become in LO.  Funny how things happen.

Lexi Dearborn
Dearborn Designs,

Editor’s note: Lexi Dearborn works part-time for Landscape Ontario, as the Georgian Lakelands Chapter coordinator.