Summer Solstice Celebration

  • Saturday, June 21, 2008 – 5:00 pm9:00 pm

On the evening of June 21, 2008, the longest day of the year, friends will gather friends to host a party – many parties – across the state to celebrate the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University. This celebration is to raise money for the Arboretum.

The Summer Solstice Celebration can be any party of the host's choosing – it could be for cocktails, tapas, pizza, or could be burgers, chicken, fish, and s' could be cloth napkins, silver, and china galore...your home, your garden, your style, your set the time, menu, décor, and pace.


For additional host and party details, please click on the host(s) names.

Ann Armstrong and Eldred Hudson and Bob Rossier

Jayme Bednarczyk

Come be a "Muse" d On a Midsummer Night's Eve – 30 couples – women in diaphanous dress, adorned with head wreaths with their chivalrous escorts have been invited to "Come be a 'Muse' d" - an evening of Food & Libations, Music & Dancing, Fire & Foolery . The late afternoon to dusk Summer Solstice Celebration will take place lakeside in the hand built home and terraced gardens of Phil Abbot and Jayme Bednarczyk near Wake Forest. A performance by Gypsy Oasis will provide enthralling entertainment for the revelers. The generosity of the co-hosts and friends – Rosanna Adams, Lisa Bohlen-Admire and Parry Admire, Cynthia Dowdy and Greg Ames, Mitzi Hole and Mike Stallings, Nora and Bill Murphy, Charlotte and John Presley, Randy and Alli Brown – will make the evening possible and fun.

Suggested donation: $25 per person. 100% of the donation goes to the JC Raulston Arboretum Endowment for Excellence and implementing the Arboretum's new master plan.

Dale Cousins and Benjie Hester

Nelsa Cox, Suzanne Edney, and Judy Howard

Sandi Dabrowski

Jeff Evans

Cindy and Bill Fritz

Elizabeth Galecke and Ted Sampson

Ted Sampson and Elizabeth Galecke of Elizabeth Galecke Photography will host a party with a midsummer's eve wedding theme. After a moon-rise wedding service in Vegas on April 20, they will host their wedding reception in Elizabeth's studio garden asking guests to give a donation to the Arboretum in lieu of wedding gifts.

Elizabeth frequently holds photo shoots for her clients at the Arboretum. "I love the serenity of the JC Raulston Arboretum. It is always quiet and offers such diverse and beautiful backgrounds for my portraits. I appreciate so much having such a wonderful place in Raleigh!" says Elizabeth.

Jill Kucera will donate some food for Elizabeth and Ted's celebration. Jill was a long time friend of J. C. Raulston and attributes much of her success to his mentoring. Jill remembers, "J. C. was one of my first clients at Catering Works. He held so many events at his home we had a key to his house. J. C. was so supportive of our business and always made time to recognize us. He was one of the kindest men I have ever met. His passion was an inspiration to me as a young business woman to see when you love what you do it pays off. Every time I go to the JC Raulston Arboretum I am in Awe and I remember what a kind, passionate man that made that happen and it gives me hope."

Genya Gorodesky

Jerry Jackson and Sylvia Redwine

Amelia Lane and Beth Jimenez

Eliza Kraft Olander and Bob and Peggy Walters

Eliza Kraft Olander, Brian McHenry, and Bob and Peggy Walters, together will host a party with an "Art in the Garden" theme. Amidst this fantastic property will be exhibits of garden art in the form of many medium. Artists work will include the images and cards by landscape photographer Peggy Walters, newly commissioned museum quality work by Thomas Sayer, the most unusual natural stone sculpture work of Phil Hathcock, and many others.

Eliza didn't always love gardening the way she does today. "Gardening went from being a chore I had to perform for my mother when I was young, to being a salvation and calming influence in my life as an adult. Gardening is not only an adventure for me, but I love how it unites folks through the generations and community," says Eliza. Eliza's mother is an amazing gardener herself, being past vice president of the Garden Club of America, Eliza admits that her mother "has forgotten more about gardening than I have ever known! They just don't make 'em like that anymore!" One of the loves Eliza has about gardening is trading seeds and plants with fellow gardeners and how a garden is really just a nursery for another garden!

David Philbrook and Helen Yoest

As the developer and organizer of this event, Helen chose to have her Summer Solstice Celebration on a different day. Not wanting to miss going to as many parties as possible on June 21, her party will be a week later on Saturday, June 28. Her theme is a "Light lunch watching the butterflies alight."

Helen serves on our Board of Advisors as well as leading the volunteer team to maintain the Winter Garden with the Raleigh Garden Club and also maintains Arboretum's Butterfly Garden.

Helen and Phil's party is open to everyone (limited to 100 guests). Please RSVP by contacting Helen at

Henry Rahn and Sue Richey

Sadlack's Heroes (Rose Schwetz)

Ed and Marla Turlington

Denny and Georgina Werner

Denny and Georgina's party is open to all JCRA members (limited to 125 guests). Please RSVP by contacting Denny at

Susan Wilson

David Philbrook and Helen Yoest's June 28 party (11:00 AM-1:00 PM) is open to all and Denny and Georgina Werner's June 21 party (6:00 PM - 9:30 PM) is open to JCRA members. If interested in attending either or both parties, please RSVP to the appropriate host(s): Helen at or Denny at

Information for Hosts or People Who'd Like to Become a Host

Each host will ask their friends for a donation to attend; the amount is up to the host. These parties will be in cottage gardens, patio gardens, rose gardens, and future gardens – each venue unique to the person hosting the event, thus each donation unique to those attending! Invite your book club, garden club, neighbors, or choir! Maybe even your doctor, dentist, or secret desire! Delight with friends on this summer eve, not too hot, not too cold, with just the right breeze.

The JC Raulston Arboretum will provide invitations to the host. The host underwrites the party, receiving a gift-in-kind tax deduction. The guests receive a tax deduction for their donation. Half of the money raised will go to the JC Raulston Arboretum Endowment for Excellence and half will go to implementing the Arboretum's new master plan.

Call Barbara Kennedy today to sign up to host a party at (919) 513-7004 or e-mail her at

Media Sponsor

We'd like to thank Metro Magazine for being the Summer Solstice Celebration's media sponsor.

Parties are either by invitation only or are open to the public, however, each requires an RSVP. Please refer to the host list above and the links in this list as they become available.
Free parking is available at each location.
Please call Barbara Kennedy today to sign up to host a party at (919) 513-7004 or e-mail her at To RSVP, please call or write the hosts accordingly (see host list above).