Over 75 guests attended the annual Fellows Thank You Dinner at the Virginia Robinson Gardens on June 8, 2019. Lush from the winter rains, the Gardens provided for a romantic and resplendent setting. It was such a magical evening that the party ended one hour later than scheduled. This celebration is held in appreciation of the Fellows’ generous support of the restoration and preservation of Robinson Gardens and the Children’s Program. It is also an occasion to honor our most generous donors. Their contributions are memorialized on the Donor Tree, a wrought iron ornamental tree whose leaves are etched with the names of the benefactors.
The distinguished guests, beautifully dressed, mingled on the Great Lawn and the Back Terrace where marinated chicken skewers, salmon tartare, Angus beef sliders and other enticing bites were served.
The dinner capped off a year of fabulous and unique events created by our terrific and very talented Chair Jeanne Anderson. From a visit to Penny Bianchi’s ravishing home in Montecito, an inspiring curator-led tour of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg exhibit at the Skirball Museum, a lecture by famed photographer Firooz Zahedi with a presentation of four homeowners’ exceptional estates to a lecture by Ron Fleming on his exquisite garden in Newport, Rhode Island, all the events were truly memorable and spectacular. In addition, every year the Fellows have the opportunity to take trips to explore glorious private gardens in locales such as New Orleans, Napa, and Newport, Rhode Island. This year the lucky members will be visiting gardens in Litchfield County in Connecticut.
Guests dined on tables beautifully set with opulent flower centerpieces, created by Ellen Lipson and Jeanne Anderson, on tropical-themed tablecloths. A sumptuous menu of black cod with risotto, filet mignon with Peruvian purple potato purée, eggplant parmesan, wine and berry crème brûlée for dessert was served by Crateful Catering whose executive chef, Luciano Pellegrini, is a James Beard Award winner!
Our fabulous President Patti Reinstein gave a heartfelt speech thanking everyone for their tremendous support. She said, “In the words of Audrey Hepburn, ‘To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow,’ and Virginia Robinson certainly believed in tomorrow….We believe in all the tomorrows that we can give to the thousands of children who have visited Robinson Gardens over the years. Not only do they come here for a day of fun, and science follow-up, but they have enjoyed the beautiful outdoors….and learned about conservation, sustainability and making healthy food choices. They are our tomorrows.” Patti concluded by saying, “I am giving a very warm and sincere thank you to all those who upgraded their leaf on the Donor Tree to a new level and to the new people who are on our Donor Tree.” These exceptionally generous patrons are:
Carolyn and Martin J. Bloom
Leslie and Jack Kavanaugh
Kathy Choi and Anthony Choe
Patty and Michael Rosenfeld
Adrienne and Elliott Horwitch
Barbara and David Jaynes
Cindy and Edwin Fields
Callie D. McGrath Foundation (represented by Hector Santillan at the party)
Our dynamic Gala co-chair Kerstin Royce then thanked Jeanne “for creating such an amazing evening,” and excitedly announced that the theme of this year’s Gala on September 14 is “Rick’s Café Américain in Casablanca.” Co-chairing the Gala with Patty Elias Rosenfeld, Kerstin continued, “We promise you an evening filled with mystique and exotic charm. We are so pleased that we have our honorees for the Spirit of Beverly Hills Award with us tonight — Julia and Dr. Andy Klein.” Julia is a past President of the Friends of Robinson Gardens, and her husband Dr. Klein is the Director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. With Kerstin and Patty at the helm, our ultra-talented and extraordinary chairs, the Gala is a “not to be missed event!”
The evening was a wonderful affair, and a glorious time was had by all. If you haven’t already done so, consider upgrading your membership to the Fellows level to enjoy these exclusive and fabulous events!
Post by Linda Meadows
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member