A Great Day at the 2021 Membership Luncheon

New members from left to right: Jelena Trifunovic, Candace Beaver, Sandra Harris, Paola Werstler, Wendelyn Chandler

On a beautiful, sunny day on September 23, 2021, the Friends enjoyed a very well-attended Membership Luncheon on the Great Lawn at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Our wonderful President Betty Goldstein, Chairperson Andrea Layne, and Co-Chairs Elaine Stein and Ellisa Bregman warmly welcomed the festively dressed attendees who were so delighted to see each other again. It was a particularly joyful celebration since the Friends were not able to experience this annual luncheon in 2020 due to Covid.

Our five new members, Candace (Candy) Beaver, Sandra (Sandy) Harris, Wendelyn (Wendi) Chandler, Jelena Trifunovic, and Paola Werstler, a wonderful addition to the Friends, met in the Pool Pavilion for the Members Orientation meeting. Co-chairs Leslie Kavanaugh, Patti Reinstein, and Kerstin Royce discussed the semi-virtual Children’s Science Program which has been an outstanding success and met with much enthusiasm and excitement by teachers and children, most of which are from the Title 1 schools. Garden Tour co-chair Jeanne Anderson talked about the upcoming, not to be missed, very special members-only Garden Tour on October 23. Education chair Clare Wagner spoke about some very exciting events and lectures, including an upcoming presentation by interior designer extraordinaire Timothy Corrigan. Membership chair Natalie Gordon mentioned the annual Gingerbread House Decorating event that her committee sponsors and talked about opportunities to volunteer for her committee as did the Newsletter editor Linda Meadows.

The new members were all given an updated Members Handbook which is an indispensable and superlative guide to everything one needs to know about Robinson Gardens. The five members were then given a tour of the gardens by our terrific Superintendent Timothy Lindsay who remarked that this is his 22nd orientation tour for the new members.

Back on the Great Lawn, the attendees sat at tables decorated by lovely floral centerpieces. These very pretty arrangements were created by our new member, florist Jelena Trifunovic, who used exquisite roses and dahlias from our very own Robinson Gardens. Also decorating the tables were little bags filled with the iconic chocolate chip cookies from Dolce Isola --The Ivy Bakery, which were generously donated by Andrea. In addition, Ellisa donated the sparkling Prosecco for all to enjoy.

Left to right: Co-Chair Ellisa Bregman, Chairperson Andrea Layne, and Co-Chair Elaine Stein

Betty thanked her very helpful past Presidents who were in attendance: Founding President Joan Selwyn, Adrienne Horwitch, Marian Power, Leslie Kavanaugh, Ellisa Bregman, Debra Shaw, Jeanne Anderson, Kerstin Royce, and Patti Reinstein. Natalie said, “We are so grateful and appreciative for everyone’s support,” and introduced the new members to the group. Andrea thanked her co-chairs Ellisa and Elaine, and enthused, “Thanks to all of you wonderful ladies who came to celebrate this beautiful oasis known as the Virginia Robinson Gardens.”

Friends member Laura Coleman added, "As always, spending time at the Gardens was absolutely glorious. To be able to enjoy a delightful luncheon with an extraordinary group of women on such a beautiful day - the first time for many of us in a "normal" setting since March of last year - was both humbling and therapeutic. I'm looking forward to enjoying many special events with the Friends in the coming year... and especially the upcoming Garden Tour!"

We are very grateful to our wonderful and hardworking Chairperson and Co-Chairs for organizing such a splendid and joyful event for all to enjoy.

Post by Linda Meadows
Editor of the eNewsletter, the Happenings
Photos by Kerstin Royce, Marcella Ruble, and Linda Meadows
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Members



  1. Kerstin Royce
    | Reply

    It was such a lovely day. Thanks for the memories 💐

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