22nd Annual Gala in the Garden
Benefiting Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
More than 400 guests were treated to an enchanted evening at the 22nd annual Gala in the Garden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The 83-acre garden was bathed in the bright and bold light of Dale Chihuly’s magnificent outdoor art exhibition, lending to this year’s theme, “An Evening of Magical Glass.” The event was co-chaired by Swanee DiMare and Frances Sevilla-Sacasa with Joyce Burns serving as Philanthropic Chair.
The evening commenced with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Guests enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres while bidding on enticing items like vacation packages, spa treatments, fine dining, art and jewelry, all while surrounded by the garden’s lush, tropical landscape. Tours of the Dale Chihuly art exhibition let visitors explore the garden lit by the moonlight and the radiant colors of the illuminated glass art.
The focal point of the Gala was the breathtaking Lakeside Marquee adorned in lovely shades of pink and green. Enormous crystal chandeliers embellished with butterflies hung from the ceiling and chimed softly as wind blew, and stunning flower arrangements graced each table while multicolored orchids coiled around the grass covered tent poles.
Bruce Greer, President of Fairchild’s Board of Trustees, welcomed guests and spoke of Fairchild’s numerous advancements in science and horticulture thanks to the supporters in the audience. This year’s Royal Palm Sponsors were Paul and Swanee DiMare, Lou and Mary Jean Risi, Kenneth O’Keefe and Jason Stephens, Bunny Bastian, Joyce and Tony Burns, and Codina Partners.
Le Basque provided guests with an exquisite dinner – a first course of tomatoes with black olive tapenade, a main course of pumpkin risotto or beef tenderloin with pepper sauce and potato mash, and a goat milk and lavender panna cotta dessert.
After the delicious meal, guests danced the night away to the Soul Survivors Orchestra, whose spirited music spanned multiple genres. At the end of the night, silent auction items and orchid party favors were distributed to each visitor.
Selecta Magazine and Miami Herald were this year’s media sponsors. Proceeds from the Gala will support programs in conservation science, education, and horticulture at Fairchild.
Next year’s Gala in the Garden is Saturday, February 6, 2016.