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Record Amount Raised at 18th Annual Gala in the Garden

A Night in Nature Gala to Raised Money fund the new Dickinson Family Education Conservatory

Encinitas CA— A record 600 guests attended San Diego Botanic Garden’s annual Gala in the Garden last Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 5 – 10 pm, dubbed A Night in Nature.

Generous friends of the Garden donated more than $300,000 towards the fund-a-need in support of the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory. This new facility, located just north of the Hamilton Children’s Garden is now under construction and opening in 2018. The funds raised virtually completed the $5.3M campaign while setting a record for funds raised at any prior gala! This amount does not include underwriting support from sponsors, ticket sales and silent auction proceeds that amounted to $200K in additional revenue raised to help cover event costs.

Special thanks for the event goes to Gala Chair Jim Ruecker, Artistic Director, René Van Rems, Logistics Chair, Sabrina Cadini and Campaign Lead, Jim Farley of Leichtag Foundation. Gratitude also goes to the corps of dedicated volunteers who made this event a great success.

The Conservatory at SD Botanic Garden will display rainforest canopy botanical wonders through a set of unique living 18-foot long “Plant Chandeliers.” This will allow guests to learn about the importance of our world’s rainforest ecosystems to the survival of future generations. In addition, visitors will learn the simple steps they can take to assist in protecting our natural world in their daily life. The Chandeliers will be able to be lowered for up-close viewing and raised to the ceiling to for meetings and other event purposes.

President and CEO, Julian Duval shared, “The Garden was pleased to recognize Ann Hunter-Welborn and David Welborn with the 2017 Paul Ecke, Jr. Awardbecause of their steadfast generosity to the community. We were also humbled to receive such a wonderful response to our fund-a-need appeal for closing out the campaign.”

Entertainment included a variety of music played concurrently on four different stages throughout the Garden. Music included Encore’s rock band and Latin percussionist DJ and a 70-foot long string harp played by “Sonic Butterfly” in the Bamboo Garden. Guests also enjoyed Living World Entertainment’s Living Vines (on stilts) who amazed guests with their movements! For the first time ever, guests went back into the Lawn Garden through the magically lighted cork oaks after the program portion of the event to dance to rock ‘n roll music played by Encore’s five-piece dance band at the After Party.

To find out more about the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory, contact Director of Development, Carolyn Zollars at czollars@sdbgarden.org.


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