President’s Message

“Where there is love, there is life” – Mahatma Gandhi

February is that time when we all instinctively think of “love” in one way or the other. Some of us celebrate with flowers, chocolates and champagne. Some think of loves lost and raise a glass in gratitude and celebration of precious memories. Some think of loves who have never been and dream that they are still yet to come.

Valentine’s Day and the thought of love has been ingrained in us from the time we were old enough to go to school, our moms making sure we made enough cards so as to not exclude anyone in the class.

Valentine’s Day is a part of our culture, from our earliest days of homemade cards to extraordinarily expensive Hallmark cards to Hallmark movies that now look to bring love to every season of the year. Love comes in many ways to warm hearts.

In the case of the OCWS, love also comes in many forms and faces. People may initially join for the love of wine but, more often than not, I see people who just love life overall and extend that love to others. I have seen marriages and life-long friendships formed within the organization and have had the privilege of sharing more happiness than I could have ever imagined and, unfortunately, more sadness than I would have liked with people whose bonds have formed over that initial love of wine.

I have never met a less-than-loving heart within the OCWS. The people, and their loving hearts, is what has made the OCWS successful. The continuing success of the organization, in my mind, comes second only to the people who make our organization successful year after year.

I, for one, am grateful and my heart is warmed by the love I see in each and every member who crosses my path, whether their love be for each other or in the form of passion for a project, or as is usually the case, both. I LOVE that my path in life has brought me to the OCWS and wish that each of you experience passions that make your heart happy and many people for you to love and be loved by every day of the year!

—Fran Gitsham, President