On September 3 some 125 guests gathered under a lighted tent to enjoy this year's annual Good Earth Farm Dinner to benefit the Delaware Botanic Gardens. Chief sponsors were Good Earth Market & Organic Farm and SoDel Concepts with its Plate Catering, led by chef Ronnie Burkle. Wines were provided by Banks Wines & Spirits, and the festive tent came from Coastal Tented Events.
Carla Markell, chair of our Advisory Council, brought her husband, Governor Jack Markell. Other political leaders there included House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, Senator Gerald Hocker, and Representative Ron Gray. The event raised more than $50,000 from pledges made by guests and matched by the Coltman Foundation (courtesy Chuck and Charlie Coltman), sponsorships of the dinner, and a silent auction. A big attraction was a painting started by John Donato and finished with stars added by dinner guests, the first in a planned series.
One guest, Laura Schaefer of Nason Construction, summed up the evening:
"Last night proved to be yet another example of the incredible, powerful, and inspiring group of people you are. It goes without saying that the event was beautiful, the food was incredible, and the company was second to none. With all that being said, though, the truly amazing part of the evening was the feeling that I left with, and I’m sure each guest did as well. Excited, inspired, and, for lack of a better term, 'pumped up.' The energy that this project creates is contagious, and if someone came last night with doubts that the Delaware Botanic Gardens will be built, I am confident that any uncertainty and doubt was erased as they were handed their first glass of wine, or the incredible orange crushes that were literally being 'crushed' as we were handed each fresh glass."