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18th Annual Gala in the Garden to Honor Ann Hunter-Welborn and David Welborn

September 9 Event Will Sell Out

Encinitas CA—Join hundreds of local business leaders, supporters and guests for San Diego Botanic Garden’s 18th annual Gala in the Garden on Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 5 – 10 pm.

This year’s theme is A Night in Nature and the event will celebrate Paul Ecke, Jr. Award honorees, Ann Hunter-Welborn and David Welborn.

At this year’s Gala, fantastic new entertainment has been added to the line-up including:

  • Sonic Butterfly playing a 70-foot long string harp in the Bamboo Garden
  • A Latin percussionist/DJ entertaining guests in the Herb Garden
  • A five-piece dance band performing in the Lawn Garden as well as an extended set following the main program
  • Returning to the Gala will be the popular local, legendary jazz musicians Glen Fisher and Peter Sprague

Ann Hunter-Welborn and David Welborn, have been chosen as the distinguished guests of honor for the 2017 Gala in the Garden because of their steadfast generosity, their vision and exceptional ability to make a positive impact on so many individual lives while always keeping the community a priority. Their love for botanical education combined with their longstanding generosity and support for the preservation of our Garden, made this honor most fitting.

Click on image to enlarge poster

“We are thrilled to be honoring Ann and David at the Garden’s premier event,” said Julian Duval, President & CEO. “They have not only been very important supporters of San Diego Botanic Garden, but for many other worthwhile organizations throughout San Diego County and the world.

“Though they are very private individuals, we are honored that they agreed to be selected for our prestigious Paul Ecke Jr. Award in Excellence on September 9, 2017.”

Ann and David’s contributions are exceptional because their generosity is paired with action and experience and they contribute so humbly. Their interest in the garden grew over many years: their three daughters took art classes  at the Garden, they celebrated and encouraged the native planting of our Garden, and now their seven grandchildren climb Toni’s Tree House and play in the mountain stream in our Hamilton Children’s Garden.

Ann’s mother always had a beautiful garden, much of which she tended herself. That love transferred to her daughter!  Ann says, “It’s wonderful for us to be able to support the garden through this honor.”

Ann and David’s work have already transcended many generations through their personal philanthropic passions. From the inspiration of Ann’s late mother’s perpetually beautiful garden, to their grandchildren’s laughter on our grounds, we send a heartfelt thank you to Ann and David who celebrate and support the continued beauty of our Garden.

Gala in the Garden is San Diego Botanic Garden’s largest annual event. Guests stroll the Garden while enjoying fine wine, craft beer, spirits and the best dishes from local restaurants and caterers. A variety of live entertainment is playing throughout the lush grounds and exquisite floral designs are displayed along the way.

Gala Artistic Director René van Rems will once again lead a team of local floral designers to create lavish floral displays for the evening. Each year, more than 10,000 stems are used to create these magnificent displays! Garden Trustee and former Board Chairman Jim Ruecker returns as the Gala Committee Chair.

For more information about Gala in the Garden please visit For sponsorship opportunities, please call (760) 436-3036, ext. 215. Tickets to the event are $225 per person. Tickets are available online at Proceeds benefit this amazing public botanical garden located in coastal Encinitas.