Each month we will spotlight a volunteer, staff member, donor or sponsor of Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG)—those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you, the reader, know a little bit about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to the Virginia Robinson Gardens and community, and what they do that is so impactful.
This month, we spotlight Adrienne Horwitch, a dedicated Friend of Robinson Gardens and Board Member. We asked her these three questions:
1. How did you first learn about VRG and what inspired you to become a Friend?
My first visit to Robinson Gardens was for an annual Garden Tour. While I had heard of Robinson Gardens, sometimes called the best kept secret in Beverly Hills, I had never visited it. Naturally, I was enchanted, and when my friend Kerstin Royce suggested I join the Friends, the timing was perfect. I fell in love with the property and everyone’s enthusiasm, and I found myself hooked. I had just finished leading the contemporary art group at LACMA, and I was drawn by the elegant beauty of the gardens. The members of the Friends were welcoming, and as I learned the history of the first estate in Beverly Hills, I realized that the natural beauty I admired needed the help of many to flourish.
2. What’s your role – How do you contribute to VRG?
With a background in the fashion business, as well as fund raising, I have always enjoyed planning imaginative events. Before I knew it, I was co-chairing the Centennial Gala in 2011. The Gala was moved to the Great Lawn, and I loved having a station for each decade of the 20th century, with everything from synchronized swimmers in the pool, to tennis players in long white 30’s tennis outfits on the tennis court, to a live monkey…with a trainer, near the monkey cage. Next as co-chair for the Garden Tour, and working on other Tours, I enjoyed setting up fashion partners and shows to enhance our great luncheons. A favorite was bringing in Brad Austin in collaboration with the famed Hutton Wilkinson for a memorable Loggia display.
As President, during the first weeks in office, I was the lucky one who spoke before the Los Angeles City Council, representing Robinson Gardens. After the work of many others, over many years, I was there to deliver our story in person and hear the vote in our favor for more events and hours open. Indeed, that first year we were able to expand and have the group El Nido start having their successful Gala on our grounds, which continues to bring in additional revenue. During that time, I worked closely with and admired the talent of all of the Board members who work so hard in creating a fresh Garden Tour, and Gala yearly, as well as the Children’s Program and the Science Fair. All of the docents are amazing as our face to the public. Our Botanical Classes flourish, and our Educational Programs have been wonderful. Our Fellows group has expanded our opportunities, and the grounds looked after by Superintendent Tim Lindsay have improved every year. I am constantly impressed by everyone’s dedication. Currently I have chosen to work on our Education Programs, creating new experiences for our membership.
- Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?
I have grown to love my time at Robinson Gardens and have many favorite memories. Recently, I loved planning three Afternoon Teas, showcasing Mrs. Robinson’s extensive collection of table china. Looking back, I first think of making new friends, including Harry our cat, taking home fresh eggs from our own chickens, my first “peach fuzzy,” dressing as Frida Kahlo for a Garden Tour, sharing a luncheon meal with the staff at the Holidays, and welcoming 99 local residents in for a tour from the Mayor’s Walk in Beverly Hills. A moment I will never forget was the cloudy morning of the Centennial Gala, when I stepped up to the podium to rehearse my evening speech, took out my notes, and as I opened my mouth, there was a huge crack of thunder and a downpour! Fortunately for all it was brief, and I have found the sun always shines on us at Robinson Gardens!