Over 315 people attended the 3rd annual fundraising event “Moonlight in the Gardens Ball” on June 16, 2018, in support of Friendship Botanic Gardens, which is a hidden gem in Michigan City and a place for peace, tranquility, education and entertainment.
This event, which was put together by Friendship Botanic Gardens President, Board of Directors and dedicated volunteers, was an evening dedicated to the preservation and development of the Gardens. Throughout the evening, those in attendance celebrated the Gardens’ rich legacy and its successful future. Community members were brought together to contribute to the growing and revitalization of the Gardens through their support and financial generosity.
The Moonlight in the Gardens Ball included appetizers, cocktails, a formal dinner and dessert, silent and live auctions, as well as paddle raising at the end. Highlights of the evening included a live band and guest speaker Mayor Ron Meer of Michigan City.
During the live auction, two mystery blockbuster packages were up for grabs: a trip to South Africa at the Thulani Private Estate in the beautiful Blue Canyon Conservancy and a getaway at a St. Lucia Private Villa. Among other live auction items were a one-week stay in a luxurious two-bedroom condominium on Pelican Bay in Naples, Florida; an extravagant eight-course dinner prepared by the acclaimed chef, Cody Mang, in one of the most fabulous “Grande Dame” homes of Long Beach, Indiana; a day at Firefly Farm; a magnificent bird sculpture by Laura Marie Panozzo of Tezzoro Design and a live painting by local artist Jeff Baumgartner.
All proceeds from the event contributed to the continued restoration and maintenance of the historic 105 -acres of Friendship Botanic Gardens. These funds allow the Gardens to grow towards the goal of becoming the region’s destination for community members, enabling them to further their mission of “creating a nature-filled sanctuary for all people, as we enrich our community through cultural, educational, and social events.”
Photos by Phil Eichas