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Fundraiser lights up Descanso Gardens

July 18, 2013|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Descanso Gardens Executive Director David Brown, center, enjoys the "Light Up the Night" benefit Saturday at the botanic gardens with members of his family. Shown with him are Garrett and Angela Brown, from left, Judy Brown, and Johanna and Alex Clark.
Descanso Gardens Executive Director David Brown, center,… (Courtesy of Martha…)

Flickering lights illuminated Descanso Gardens last Saturday evening as 250 guests enjoyed a new kind of benefit called "Light Up the Night."

Approximately $60,000 was raised during the event. Net proceeds will be used to sustain the 160-acre botanic garden.

David Brown, executive director of Descanso Gardens, was on hand to say hello to the casually dressed guests, who were given small flashlights to light their way after the sun went down. It was a movable feast of food and music as guests wandered from venue to venue.

Guests first gathered for cooling beverages and hors d'oeuvres bar in the garden's Promenade, where the band Dustbowl Revival performed bluegrass and blues music. The feast then moved on to the Rose Garden, where guests enjoyed a self-serve dinner. While they dined there was music by guitarist Roger Espinoza and his band.

The party ended at the Center Circle for dessert, where the smoking "Dragon's Breath" meringues were the culinary hit of the night. Dee Jay Matthew Rubino, "The Curator of Vibes," created a party-perfect music mix to keep the party going.

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The "Light Up the Night" event was conceived as a more casual gathering then the black-tie "Only at Descanso" benefit that is scheduled for Sept. 28.

"We wanted to create a casual fun event that would appeal to a wider audience and to give people an opportunity to enjoy the gardens at night," said Juliann Rooke, Descanso's chief operating officer.

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JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her at jnvalleysun@yahoo.com with news of your special event.

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