24th Annual Gala in the Garden

A Night of “Inspiration” at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Joyce Burns and Swanee DiMare
More than 400 guests attended the 24th Annual Gala in the Garden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden themed “Inspiration.” The event was co-chaired by Swanee DiMare and Frances Sevilla-Sacasa with Joyce Burns serving as Philanthropic Chair. Proceeds supported Fairchild’s programs in conservation science, education, and horticulture.

The evening began with a cocktail reception and silent auction in the new Adam R. Rose and Peter R. McQuillan Arts Center. Featured items included luxury vacations, fine jewelry, and designer accessories.

Guests then walked along a beautifully lit garden path to the Lakeside Marquee and were awestruck by the stunning decor. The venue was bathed in colors canary yellow and green. Majestic moss covered bismarckia palms wrapped in yellow orchids stood throughout the room while lush ferns hung over the dance floor. Tables were decorated with English blue porcelain vases of yellow orchids and green and yellow silk linens.

Board of Trustees President Bruce Greer welcomed guests announcing that Fairchild has been rated the number one garden in the country by Charity Navigator.

Gala Chair Swanee DiMare recognized the Board of Trustees and Gala Committee for their hard work and thanked this year’s Royal Palm Sponsors Bunny Bastian and Raphael Bastian, Joyce and Tony Burns, Mary Jean and Lou Risi, and Kenneth O’Keefe and Jason Stephens. She was also presented with an orchid named after her, Renanthera Swanee DiMare. A longtime benefactor of Fairchild, Joyce Burns was honored for her continued support of the Garden and her dedication to the Gala.

Le Basque served a sumptuous gourmet dinner featuring a seafood cocktail; rioja braised short rib, and chocolate terrine for dessert. Afterwards, everyone packed the dance floor enjoying the upbeat tunes of the Soul Survivors Orchestra. Upon departure, guests received beautiful orchid plants to take home.

Next year’s Gala in the Garden is scheduled for Saturday, February 3, 2018.

Photos by Gabriel Bancora and World Red Eye (Ryan Troy)

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