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Home and Garden Expo Report

Our GTAS exhibit at the Beaumont Civic Center February 4-6th was a huge success. This was our third year to have a booth at House with a Heart. We are appreciative to Houseman Homes for inviting us and giving our booth at no cost. This year we gave out pencils and magnets with our hotline phone number and website address. We also gave out animal stickers, bird water whistles, and pencils to children. The children had their hands stamped with a butterfly, hummingbird, snail, or spider. 
 We would like to thank Jeannie Lanclos for the tremendous amount of time and energy that it took to plan the lay-out of the booth, call volunteers, order pencils, magnets, make handouts, create signs for the plants, and for designing wooden display poles built especially for our booth. Jeannie, Joe Halbrook and Jana Whittle set up and took down the booth. Our volunteers were wonderful. If you have never participated in helping with our booth, please consider it next year.  
 We had 172 people who signed up for a chance to win two birding field guides. (One lady wanted a field guide so bad that she asked to sign up two times.) That should tell us many things as an organization. One of them being that people are very interested in birding. Our booth consisted of twenty humming-bird plants and two bird baths. Suet, hummingbird and regular birdfeeders were on display along with a birdhouse, a butterfly house, various types of birdseed, bird books, and bird magazines. We gave out informative handouts on Purple Martins, feeder projects, hot spots for birding, and our current newsletter. One of our new members even brought his own computer for people to view various species of bird pictures. We would like to thank him very much for coming Thursday night to set up his computer and then again Sunday for dismantling. It was a wonderful new addition for our booth.
The pictures that kept flashing on the screen continually were taken by Ken Stzraky and Travis Lewing. (Maybe they will eventually make it into a screen saver for others.) The Big Thicket National Preserve allowed us to use their nice backboard which was extremely helpful and truly “dressed up” our booth. Ranger David Baker was kind enough to put up the backboard before we even arrived on Thursday and take it down on Sunday. As we're sure that you’ve noticed, it took a lot of team effort. 
 The purpose for our booth is to reach out to our local public in order to promote birding, an interest in wildlife, and conservation. We get so charged up helping with this exhibit every year because we are reaching more than one thousand people by placing information out for them. (We gave out over 500 pencils alone with our GTAS information on them.) Yes, it takes many hours to plan, work, volunteer, and money for supplies to hand out. We feel it is definitely well worth all of our effort. People were constantly asking birding and plant questions almost faster than we could answer. They were very, very eager to learn which plants to put out for birds, which seeds birds prefer, which bird books to buy, etc. We hope you will join in our fun next year.

 Many thanks to our terrific Expo 2000 volunteers!!!! Don and Nancy Fisher, Joe Halbrook, Harrison Jordan, Steve Kuritz, Jeannie Lanclos, Travis Lewing, Steve Mayes, Annette Riddle, Sherrie Roden, Gail Slocum, Herb and Mary Stafford, and Jana Whittle.