Gala in the Garden

  • Sunday, May 6, 2012 – 3:00 pm7:00 pm

It's springtime in the garden. Come one, come all! Put on your whimsical garden hats ladies and gents, then enjoy the many pleasures and pure merriment that a May stroll in the garden can bring. All these amusements, plus perusing the dazzling botanical and non-botanical silent auction items, sipping on a cool drink, and sampling gourmet treats are sure to make you giddy with spring fever!

The Gala in the Garden is a perfect opportunity to enjoy the happiness of a spring day, while you entertain family, friends, and business associates. It is sure to be an afternoon of dreamy fun and great pleasures for the senses; a Raleigh garden party like no other!

Thanks to our 2011 sponsors, auction donors, and guests, the 2011 May Day Gala netted more than $85,000! The Gala is the Arboretum's main fund-raising event of the year, and the proceeds directly support its daily operations of teaching, research, and public outreach, and garden displays.

Enjoy the 2011 May Day Gala all over again through these great pictures and get a small sample of the fun to take place on May 6, 2012.


Registration: $75 per person ($25 is tax-deductible)
Online registration—it's easy, fast, and secure! Online registration is open until Thursday, April 26, 2012. After this date, you may still register until Wednesday, May 2, 12:00 PM, by calling (919) 513-0264.


Sponsors are vitally important for the success of the Gala in the Garden. This is the Arboretum's main fund-raising event of the year, and the proceeds directly support its daily operations of teaching, research, and public outreach, and garden displays. Please consider a tax-deductible contribution* to become 2012 Sponsor. The brochure describes all sponsorship levels and benefits—including a great deal with the Early Bird Special for those who respond by March 15, 2012. (March 15 is also the deadline for sponsor listing on the Gala invitation.)

*Note: $50 per attending guest is not considered tax-deductible by the IRS.

The Gala in the Garden provides a distinctive opportunity to entertain your family, friends, and business associates, while strolling around the gardens and discovering all the dazzling auction items. You can also enjoy the hospitality tent that is exclusively for Gala Sponsors and their guests. The Gala will end with a delicious dessert social and brief program in the York Auditorium at the Arboretum's Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. Plus this year, the Gala party will include cake and NC State ice cream in celebration of NC State's 125th Birthday. (Make sure to include the class year if you or any of your guests are NC State Alums, for special recognition.)

The JC Raulston Arboretum's annual Gala has been a Raleigh garden party and a captivating experience like no other since 1991. Please join us!

Sponsors (as of April 26, 2012)

North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc.

Bayer Advanced
Pender Nursery, Inc. (Kathy and Jim Deal)

A. E. Finley Foundation, Inc.
North Carolina Farm Bureau

Bell Family Foundation
Ted and Linda Bilderback
The Brickman Group, Ltd.
Tommy Bunn
Fair Products (Judi and Frank Grainger)
Hawksridge Farms
Hoffman Nursery, Inc.
Jeanette and Wallace Hyde
Nina and Jerry Jackson
Johnson Nursery Corp.
Bobby G. Wilder
Worthington Farms, Inc.
Jackie and Johnny Wynne

Al Cooke and Daphne Hill
John Dole and John Buettner
Allen and Anne Clapp
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
The Fire Place (Ruby McSwain)
Gilmore Plant and Bulb Co.
Debbie Hamrick and Ed Gaines
Han-Dee Hugo's (Irma and Haddon Clark)
Hicks Landscape Contractors (Scott Hicks)
Jere's Landscaping (Jere Stevens)
Melanie and Richard Kelley
Charles Kidder
LanArc, Inc.
The Lundy Fetterman Family Foundation
Robert E. Lyons
Outfall Farm
Panther Creek Nursery
Anne M. Porter
Progress Energy
Sampson Nursery, Inc.
Sylvia N. Redwine
Anthea and Russell Tate
Kathleen and Walt Thompson
Bobby Ward and Roy Dicks
Georgina and Dennis Werner
Laura Willer and David Huffstetler
Wyatt-Quarles Seed Company

Special Gifts
Mary Ann and Gregory Poole
Rosemary and Smedes York

Silent Auction

A very special feature of the Gala in the Garden is the extraordinary silent auction. Featuring an eclectic array of unique plants and many other distinctive non-botanical items, the retail value of the auction exceeds $40,000!

The auction is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your business or special talent, since more than 500 guests will spend the afternoon perusing and bidding on all these items. If you wish to donate an item or gift certificate, please complete the Auction Solicitation Form and bring it by the JCRA, or contact Anne Porter at (919) 513-3826 or for more information. Your auction item is considered a tax-deductible "in-kind" gift.

If you wish to donate plants for the Gala (or the JCRA Plant Sale in April), please send us a list of the plants (coming soon) that you expect to provide by March 10. Please include the commercial value of the plants (wholesale or retail, depending on the nature of your business) so that we may credit your gift-in-kind contribution and add you to our Plant Sponsor list. The list (coming soon) may be faxed to (919) 515-5361 or e-mailed to

Gala Committee

The Gala Planning Committee members are busy planning an exceptional 2012 Gala in the Garden. Our sincere thanks and appreciation to this dedicated and very talented group of volunteers!

Honorary Chair
Frank Grainger

Event Chair
Charles Kidder

Event Committee
Jill Adams
Jennifer Bernabi
Ted Bilderback
John Buettner
Irma Clark
Kathy Deal
Judi Grainger
Larry Hancock
Meriwether Hill-Fentress
Margaret Hoffman
Beverly Hurley
Cheryl Kearns
Melanie Kelley
Barbara Kennedy
Karen Martello
Judy Morgan-Davis
Anne Porter
Frank Powers
Sylvia Redwine
Jere Stevens
Mark Weathington
Chris Wessel
Jackie Wynne
Helen Yoest

Honorary Member
Susan Woodson

Event Coordinator
Anne Porter


To see photographs of last year's Gala in the Garden, please visit our Web site's Photography section.

This event is sponsored by the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc. (Tax ID# 56-6049304).

$75.00 ($25.00 is tax deductible).
Online registration is open until Thursday, April 26, 2012. After this date, you may still register until Wednesday, May 2, 12:00 PM, by calling Judy Morgan-Davis at (919) 513-0264. A limited number of admissions will be available at the door on Sunday, May 6.
JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available along Beryl Road.
Please call Anne Porter at (919) 513-3463 or for more information about this event.