Searching for answers to a growing number of plant problems? Want to share a gardening secret? Renowned horticulturist Allan Armitage will be the main attraction at the fourth annual New Orleans Botanical Garden Foundation Spring Symposium, beginning at 5 p.m. Monday with a cocktail reception and garden tours at the Pavilion of Two Sisters, 101 Victory Ave., in City Park.

Armitage will speak at 6:15 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session, book signing, rare-plant auction and silent auction, which starts at 7 p.m.

Gardeners are invited to share personal experiences and get advice from Armitage, recipient of numerous awards including the Medal of Honor from the Garden Club of America, the National Educator Award from the American Horticultural Society and the Quill and Trowel Award from the Garden Writers Association of America.

A retired University of Georgia professor, Armitage conducted research on new garden plants and ran the University of Georgia Horticulture Gardens. He considers working with plants therapeutic, exciting and creative. His recent book, “Tales from the Garden: Tell me the Facts, I Forget; Tell me a Story, I Remember,” will be sold at the symposium.

Tickets are $45 and are available at the door, at or by calling (504) 483-9473.

Symposium committee members include David Waller, honorary chairman; Mary Ellen Miller, chairwoman; and Anne Abbott, Laura Claverie, Debbie Corales, Marla Donovan, Sarah Everhart, Tucker Fitz-Hugh, Ruthie Frierson, Sara Gaines, Juli Miller Hart, Suzanne Krieger, Carrie Martin, Cindy Metcalf, Beverly Matheney, Sandra Pulitzer, Lee Rouse and Paul Soniat.

Fighting cancer

Progress and Promise Against Cancer is a free public event hosted by the American Association for Cancer Research from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Louisiana Cancer Research Center, 1700 Tulane Ave.

Cancer researchers from across the country will be on hand to share information about innovations in research, treatment and prevention, and care for survivors and their families. Patient advocates will share stories and discuss clinical trials and health disparities relating to the New Orleans area.

The event will include exhibits, and complimentary breakfast, lunch and parking. For information, visit

The event is part of the annual American Association for Cancer Research meeting, expected to draw about 20,000 people to New Orleans.

Association members and the New Orleans community will take part in a 5K run/walk at 7 a.m. Saturday, starting at the World Trade Center, 365 Canal St. Registration for Louisiana residents is $15. For information, visit

For information about AACR visit

McDonogh 35 centennial

The National McDonogh 35 High School Alumni Association is searching for graduates of McDonogh 35 Senior High to take part in the school’s centennial celebration in 2017.

For information, contact the alumni association at, contact the school at 4000 Cadillac St., (504) 324-7600, or call Jacquelyn McMillan at (504) 430-7468.

Free Zumba

Grab some friends and take part in free Zumba classes from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. on Saturdays through May 7 at the Peristyle at City Park, near the intersection of Dreyfous and Anseman drives.

Classes will be held rain or shine. Arrive ready to dance away stress. Wear appropriate workout attire and gym shoes, and bring your own water. No reservations are needed. For information, call (504) 733-1600.

‘Instruments deadline

Application deadline is Friday for the Tipitina’s Foundation program “Instruments A Comin’,” which places new band and orchestra instruments in school music programs and after-school music programs.

Music teachers and nonprofits may apply at Applications are accepted online only, so contact the foundation if there are any technical issues.

Previous applicants must re-apply. Award recipients will be announced during summer 2016.

To date, the program has contributed more than $3.1 million worth of instruments to more than 100 music programs throughout Louisiana. The program is supported by Jupiter Musical Instruments and New Orleans Music Exchange.

For information, contact Jacob Garcia at (504) 309-7934 or

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at