Guests ofÂ Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardenâ€™s 20thÂ annualÂ Gala in the GardenÂ fundraiser enjoyed a truly unforgettable evening of dining and dancing onÂ Saturday,Â February 2, 2013. The black-tie event drew a crowd of more than 400 generous South Florida philanthropists dedicated to supporting Fairchildâ€™s programs in conservation science, education, horticulture and collection management. Organized by co-chairsÂ Swanee DiMareÂ andÂ Frances Sevilla-Sacasa, philanthropy chairsÂ Penny StampsÂ andÂ Joyce Burns,Â and the Gala Committee members, this yearâ€™s â€œBotanical Tapestryâ€ themed event transformed the garden into an extraordinary venue with beautiful floral displays.
The night began at 6:30 p.m. on the mosaic in front of the Visitors Center with cocktails sponsored byÂ Grey Goose VodkaÂ and colorful hors dâ€™oeuvres. The wide array of items at theÂ silent auctionÂ upstairs featured sparkling jewelry, lavish gift baskets, and luxurious getaways like a Seabourn Mediterranean Cruise, a New York City shopping spree and a guided tour of Italy.Â Around 8:30 p.m., guests moved to the Lakeside Marquee and were met with a truly breathtaking display â€“ orchids entwined on columns and hanging from the ceiling under fringed parasols created by artistÂ Ignacio GoitiaÂ andÂ Le BasqueÂ party planning. Flower bouquets and candles in all hues adorned the grandiose table centerpieces.Â Bruce Greer, president of the Board of Trustees, introduced co-chairs Swanee DiMare and Frances Sevilla-Sacasa, who welcomed everyone to the event. Le Basque served the dinner, which included an avocado, mango, and tomato salad with pear citrus vinaigrette and either veal medallions with root vegetables and parsnip purÃ©e or black truffle pasta with porcini and chanterelle mushrooms. Pain perdu with Idiazabal cheese ice cream was served for dessert.
After the delectable meal, the dance floor filled up in no time as guests moved to the beat of theÂ Soul Survivors Orchestra, who played a broad repertoire of everything from 1970s disco favorite â€œDancing Queenâ€ to todayâ€™s smash hit â€œParty Rock Anthem.â€ The night didnâ€™t end until midnight when the winning bidders collected their auction items and everyone took home blooming orchid party favors.
Pictures by: Alejandro Gringuito Lopez