October is a time for orchids at the Myriad Botanical Gardens and the annual Orchids in October Luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday. The event is a fundraiser for The Gardens and a time to honor the recipient of the 2012 R. Tolbert III Crystal Orchid Award — J. Larry Nichols, CEO of Devon Energy.
“The James R. Tolbert III Crystal Orchid Award is the highest honor we at the Myriad Botanical Gardens can bestow upon a person,” Maureen Heffernan, Myriad Botanical Gardens executive director, said
The decision to honor Nichols with the award was an easy one said Christine Eddington, the Gardens director of marketing and communications.
“Larry Nichols' contribution to downtown Oklahoma City, and in fact the entire state, is second to none,” Eddington said. “We couldn't think of a more fitting person to bestow our award upon.”
Nichols' most celebrated contributions to the footprint of downtown Oklahoma City include a makeover of the Gardens area, which was largely funded by a tax increment finance district created by the construction of the Devon Energy Center across the street from the Gardens.
“This is an amenity for everybody,” Nichols said in an October, 2011, interview with The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer.
“Without Larry Nichols' passion and support for the Gardens, our improvements would not have occurred. His vision and dedication are a gift to everyone who sets foot in the Gardens today, tomorrow and for generations to come,” Heffernan said.
Eddington describes the $42 million makeover of the 17-acre grounds of the Myriad Botanical Gardens: