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)

Lisille Matheson, Dr. Julio Frenk, Dr. Felicia Maria Knaul and Eveyln Greer

Jocelyn Woolworth, Daysi Johanson and Marile Lopez

Dr. Margaret Eidson, Bill & Barbara Reese

Raphael Bastian and Betsy Fantis

Nancy Batchelor, Paul DiMare, Dr. Julio Frenk, Dr. Felicia Knaul and Swanee DiMare

Trish & Dan Bell and Laurie Jennings

Lesli Brown and Bronwyn Miller

Felicia Knaul and Julio Frenk

Vivek Jayaram, Carolina Garcia Jayaram, Ken O'Keefe and Jason Stephens

Alberto & Maria Carvalho, Jana Sigars Molina and Harve Mogul

Nancy & Jon Batchelor

Greg Martini and Anne Baddour

Jane & Brian Mormile, Kim & Alex Abreu

Camilo Miguel Jr., Nina Miguel, Eliot Tubis & Julie Tubis

Joshua Salman, Swanee Dimare and Laurie Jennings

Steph Veloso, Evelyn Leduc and Fred Shapiro

Danielle & Scott Squires

Janice Gonzalez and Ana Milton

Christopher Knight and Laura Buccellati

Marina Radiushina, Jim Murphy and Kristin Podack

Gladys Rustan and Josie Wang

Soledad & Justin Lowe

Silent Auction

Bismarckia palms and yellow orchids adorned the room

Janine Sanchez, Tania Miner, Ervin Gonzalez and Margaret Eidson

Orlando Benitez & Judy Benitez