A Lovely Afternoon at the 2022 Membership Luncheon


Left to right: Christine Centolanza Hanscom, Pamela Cohen, Virginia Newman, President Betty Goldstein, Anna Berit Koral.

The Friends celebrated another year of supporting one of the region’s greatest treasures at this year’s annual Membership Luncheon at the Virginia Robinson Gardens on September 15. All attendees, joyfully enjoying the company of each other, were festively attired, a perfect accompaniment to the lovely weather and the event’s tropical theme.

Exquisite floral arrangements by the Friends’ own Jeanne Anderson were the centerpiece at the luncheon tables arranged on the Great Lawn. One lucky Friend at each table - the one whose birthday was closest to the date of the event - got to go home with one of the lovely creations. Also decorating the tables were individual custom sugar cookies painted with the iconic Robinson estate. The luncheon featured a tropical fruit punch, salmon, chicken and salad, along with a light coconut layer cake for dessert.

Hosted by Natalie Gordon, Lori Gordon, and Candy Beaver, the Friends welcomed three new members, Virginia Newman, Anna Berit Koral, Pamela Cohen and one returning member, Christine Centolanza Hanscom, at the event. In welcoming everyone, Natalie urged members to deepen their involvement by joining one of the Garden’s many committees. And nomination forms at each table offered inspiration for Friends to nominate themselves or others for various positions.

President Betty Goldstein, her adorable granddaughter Beckett by her side, announced the introduction of a “Young Friends” membership tier set to launch soon. Designed to draw more members under the age of 40, this new introductory category is perfect for current Friends’ daughters, daughters-in-law, nieces, and other garden enthusiasts. While details still need to be solidified – including the name – these new legacy members would be obligated to join a committee as well as commit to a certain number of volunteer hours.

Of incredible excitement are the details surrounding the upcoming 33rd annual Garden Tour on November 5, “VRG Home for the Holidays.” The garden tour luncheon is the Friends’ main fundraiser and the money generated is used to preserve the estate for future generations. Like last year, this year’s Garden Tour will be only for members, with an additional 100 outside tickets being made available for members to include other garden lovers in their lives.

This year’s tour will feature two private gardens in addition to the transformed Robinson Gardens estate. Betty shared that the cost of the event has almost doubled and encouraged Friends to support the event, noting, “If you would like to underwrite or donate some funds, we would love it.”

Post by Laura Coleman
Friends of Robinson Gardens member
Photos by Friends of Robinson Gardens members Paola Werstler, Jeanne Anderson, Ellisa Bregman, Lori Gordon, and Krista Everage.

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