On a beautiful sunny day of October 6th, the Friends of Robinson Gardens warmly welcomed many new members at the annual Membership Luncheon at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. In keeping with the theme of the very successful and popular Children’s Program, the tables were decorated in pastel shades, and Cabbage Patch Kids starred as centerpieces. A coloring book for grown-ups, all the rage now, was given as a party favor to all, while the new members also received a planter with potted herbs.
After a brief orientation and tour of the gardens by Superintendent Timothy Lindsay for the new members, all guests were served a lavish luncheon of three different salads, steak, and a delicious mac and che
ese. A full ice cream bar offered many toppings and sauces for dessert. The Kitchen for Exploring Foods always does a superb job of catering events for the Friends!
Several rooms of the house were open for the members to view. The dining room table was beautifully set as it would have been in Virginia’s time with opulent dishes, crystal and elegant silver on a richly embroidered tablecloth. The place cards on top of each setting had the names of good friends of Virginia: Buffy Chandler, Charlie Chaplin, Maurice Chevalier, Fred Astaire and Lillian Disney. The imagined presence of these celebrities and social luminaries completed the nostalgic scene.
Last year, three terrific volunteers were given a special award for their wonderful contributions to the Friends. They were Jeanne Anderson, Greer Saunders and Diane Jenkins. In keeping with that tradition, some of last year’s recipients presented the Volunteer of the Year Awards to the three new members that were acknowledged on this day: Patty Elias, Linda Meadows and Patti Reinstein.
President Marian Power encouraged the new members to volunteer, saying that one of the benefits of being involved is the wonderful friendships one makes for life. She then introduced Patty Elias who has done a spectacular job with every task she takes on. At this year’s Children’s Science Fair that Patty co-chaired, the children loved the event so much, that one child exclaimed, “It was the best day of my entire life!” The Friends are quite fortunate that Patty is next year’s Science Fair co-chair. Additionally, due to Patty’s efforts at this year’s Legendary Beverly Hills Garden Tour, the Concierge level was “stunning,” as was the beautifully decorated and decadent display of refreshments arranged in the Pool Pavilion for the 2016 Holiday Open House. Patty also organized a fantastic cocktail party and tour of the gardens for all the luxury hotel concierges in the area, an event which will become “extremely beneficial and important for Virginia Robinson Gardens in the years to come,” added Marian. Since Patty is this year’s co-chair for the Holiday Open House, it is sure to be a remarkable event; anything she is involved in is magical and first class!
Diane Jenkins then presented the next Volunteer of the Year Award to recipient Linda Meadows, whom she said is “…so worthy to receive it.” Diane stated that over the years of volunteering and working together with Linda, they had developed a wonderful friendship. Diane described Linda as the perfect volunteer: “She is kind and considerate of others; she is a woman of integrity. She is not only passionate about the work she does, she does it well, and she is reliable!” Linda has put in many hours to keep the Friends and public up to date with the latest news at the Virginia Robinson Gardens and has been instrumental in the development of the monthly Happenings eNewsletter to what it is today. It has been a labor of love for her! Linda has also written articles for the Friends’ year-end printed Newsletter for many years and she is a great photographer!
Last, but not least, Jeanne Anderson presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to recipient Patti Reinstein. Jeanne stated that she met Patti through her husband who told her “You have to meet Patti and see her garden. She is so fantastic.” They became fast friends, and Patti is now Vice-President of the Friends and is next year’s 2018 Garden Tour co-chair with Jeanne. Patti is incredibly talented and amazing; she sews beautiful tablecloths, creates gorgeous flower arrangements and as co-chair of the Education Program, has organized fabulous events. Jeanne concluded, “She is so special and is such an inspiration. I want to grow up and be just like Patti!”
All the honorees were given a very beautiful Christofle silver frame. Thank you to the terrific co-chairs of the Membership Luncheon, Greer Saunders and Cindy Fields, for such a special day. The new Friends and Fellows are a wonderful addition to the organization. They are: Carrie Ketchum, Allison Clago, Barbara Herman, Leslie Einstein, Susan Meals, Elaine Stein, Cindy Leuty Jones, Lisa Greer, Daria de Koning, Amy Higgins, Christine Ofiesh, Rachel Ault and Jean Loew.
Post by Linda Meadows
Photos by Diane Jenkins
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Members