CHREF Depends on Generosity & Volunteers

Mike Schleining, CCNP
CHREF Board Member

Thank you to all who donated to the Colorado Horticulture Research and Education Foundation (CHREF) at the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association Industry Celebration Happy Hour in February. This year, the foundation received $7,200. Also, thank you to Ron Brown from Alameda Wholesale Nursery who purchased Gus the Gnome at the auction. Gus’s path started when Gary Epstein, former owner of Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery, had the idea to auction him off to different nurseries and greenhouses to raise additional money for CHREF. You can read more about the history of Gus the Gnome here.

Ron Brown of Alameda Wholesale Nursery – the highest bidder for Gus at $3,600

CHREF plays an integral role in encouraging and rewarding top-performing students at Colorado State University and Front Range Community College through scholarships, as well as contributing to needed research conducted at Colorado State University. Not only are donations to the foundation helping to secure the future leaders of the industry, but they are also responsible for producing the most up-to-date scientific discoveries and best practices for our industry.

Funds for the foundation are primarily raised through two annual events: the CHREF Golf Tournament and the CHREF auction and silent auction. Additionally, CHREF receives donations from various individuals and companies throughout the year. If you are interested in making a donation, please email

During the December 2019 CHREF Board Meeting, Matt Edmundson challenged the Board to make an impact on the next generation of our industry, and Board members accepted the call to mentor younger professionals. If you or someone in your organization is interested in attending a lunch with a Board member, please contact to schedule. If you are interested in volunteering on the CHREF board, please contact

Gus the Gnome enjoying an evergreen landscape