Virginia Tech's Hahn Horticulture Garden will hold its seventh annual Garden Gala on Saturday, June 11, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., at the garden on Washington Street on the university's main campus.

With “Lucky Seven” as the theme, guests will enjoy a casino atmosphere complete with blackjack, roulette, and other surprises. Guests will receive complimentary poker chips to start and professional dealers will keep the action moving. More chips can be purchased as the evening progresses. Elegant and abundant hors d’oeuvres and two open bars are included in the evening. Silent auction tables overflowing with unusual plants, art, and more will tempt bidders.

Garden staff, interns, and volunteers are creating a beautiful setting for the event. Floral decor, designed by David Pippin of Richmond, Va., will adorn the garden. In a favorite gala tradition, the arrangements will be given away as door prizes at the end of the evening.

Honorary Gala chairs T. Marshall Hahn Jr., Virginia Tech president emeritus, and Jean Russell Hahn, extend an invitation to everyone: “If you are lucky enough to find someone you love who loves you back, it's a gift. Come out and share your gifts to benefit the garden and those who treasure it.”

Gala honorary hosts for 2011 are Virginia Tech horticulture alumni and long-time friends of the garden, Paul Westervelt and Sonya Lepper Westervelt, of Roseland, Va. Sonya and Paul served as garden interns when they were students at Virginia Tech. They are Ambassador-level Friends of the Garden, active on advisory committees, and outstanding examples of how recent graduates can help support the garden and remain involved with the Department of Horticulture and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Both are employed by Saunders Brothers Inc. of Piney River, Va. Paul is the annuals and perennials production manager and Sonya is a sales associate. They note: “The Hahn Horticulture Garden is every bit (if not more) important to us now as it was the day we first stepped foot on campus. As students, we enjoyed the garden as a living laboratory along with hundreds of other students across many disciplines. As alumni, we support the garden with fond memories of the past, looking forward to the future of the garden and what it will provide for generations of Hokies to come. Now as honorary hosts of the gala, we invite you to celebrate the garden with food, drink, fun, and your support.” 

“The Garden Gala is our most important fundraiser of the year,” noted Holly Scoggins, associate professor and garden director. “Every ticket sold or sponsorship made helps us fulfill our mission of education and outreach and our goal to serve as a place of beauty and relaxation on the campus of Virginia Tech.”

Tickets are $60 per person; order before June 3 to ensure delivery. To request tickets or for more information, visit the gala website,  call 540-231-5970, or email. The gala will be held rain or shine.



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