Delaware Botanic Gardens goes over the top

The Delaware Botanic Gardens has leveraged a $750,000 grant from the Longwood Foundation into $1.25 million to help it open Delmarva’s first botanical garden. The foundation challenged the nonprofit organization to raise a 2-to-1 match for a $250,000 portion of the grant. The garden went over the top of the challenge, amassing some $560,000 in less than a year, exceeding the goal by $60,000.

“To add to our achievement,” responded DBG President Susan Ryan, “we reached this amazing level with six months to spare.” When the Longwood Foundation, based in Wilmington, announced its award in November 2015, it set a deadline of March 25, 2017, for the garden to reach the matching requirement. “For this feat, heartfelt thanks are due our dedicated business and individual supporters, members, and volunteers,” added Ryan.

Well over half of the fundraising total was raised from pledges and pledge payments to support development of the garden. Another large portion represents grants from the Welfare Foundation ($75,000) and the Marmot Foundation ($40,000). The remainder originated in other donations, memberships, and event income.

The annual Good Earth Market Farm Dinner, held this year on September 15, brought in about $50,000. A challenge made at the dinner from Chuck Coltman of Bethany Beach, president of the Coltman Family Foundation, raised $31,000, including his $10,000 challenge. Sponsorships, ticket sales, and a silent auction increased the evening’s total.

Presenting sponsors for the farm dinner were Bancroft Construction Company, Banks Wines & Spirits, the meadow designer Piet Oudolf, Pennoni Associates, Robinson Anderson Summers, and SoDel Concepts. Other key sponsors were Coastal Tented Events, Good Earth Market and Organic Farm, and the Sussex County Land Trust. In all, 43 individuals and businesses served as sponsors for this popular local event.

“We are indeed over the top at this great accomplishment,” said Raymond J. Sander, DBG vice president and chair of its capital campaign committee. “These funds move us much closer to opening the garden gates. But beyond that, this phenomenal support shows how much people and organizations across Delmarva understand what a great addition this garden will be to our region and how much it’s needed.”

Other members of the DBG Capital Campaign Leadership Committee are Susan Ryan, David Green, Kathy Green, Sheryl Swed, Gregg Tepper, and Cam Yorkston.

Over the top! With six months to spare.

Over the top! With six months to spare.