Our April Spotlight: Carolyn Bloom

Benefactor Carolyn Bloom and daughter Julie

What could be a better omen for being involved with the Friends of Robinson Gardens than the last name of BLOOM?  That would be long-time Friends and Benefactors Carolyn and Marty Bloom, who have been such an important part of our beloved Gardens since they moved to Los Angeles in 2003.

Carolyn created a stunning Garden at their home on Laurel Way, which she generously opened for Membership events — where we were serenaded by the player piano! She collaborated with a sculptor who did some amazing installations in her backyard. Large, oversized planters, panels, and fountains – etched to echo the ferns, leaves, and fronds of the greenery – appeared like a modern-age Stonehenge across the property.

“Romancing the Stone” was a huge hit featured on our 2010 Garden Tour: Garden Gems: The Perfect Setting. When one of the volunteers backed into the pool, Carolyn laughed & said, “Maybe we should put out some towels for the guests?”

Carolyn & Marty continue to attend Friends & Fellows events after they moved to the Wilshire corridor – when they aren’t off cruising somewhere exotic on The Lady Caroline.

While always generous, the Blooms became special “Angels” of the FRG’s Children’s Programs, influenced no doubt by their numerous grandchildren. When the pandemic hit and the children’s in-person tours were stopped, Friends Leslie Kavanaugh, Patti Reinstein, and Kerstin Royce responded with the Children’s Science Program. That was an in-depth, three-part science curriculum tailored to be delivered to the Title 1 schools who had been visiting the Gardens through our sponsored bus programs.

Soon the garage became a “Science Workshop” of crafts, worksheets, videos, and snacks promoting all the ideas of healthy habits learned through the biology and botany of plants and animals in the California science curriculum for third and fourth grades, all then delivered directly to the schools!

That major undertaking – serving some 3,000 students that first year – needed some help, which was readily shouldered by specials angels like the Oscar de la Hoya Foundation, the Santa Monica Westside Legacy Fund for Women and Girls, the Annenberg Foundation, and Friends like Carolyn and Marty Bloom!

Our garage workshop continues with 5,000 children now receiving the kits, and the children are welcomed back at the Gardens with in-person science tours, but not without the wonderful support of our March birthday girl Carolyn.

A FRIEND, indeed!

Post by Maralee Beck
Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member

  1. Marcella Ruble
    | Reply

    Carolyn is truly a giving, creative spirit that we are so lucky to know as a very Special Friend!

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