Discovery Center presents “Secret Garden Party at Home”

Celebrate the beauty and love of learning with the Discovery Center as the children’s museum moves one of its most popular fundraisers online this year.

Due to concerns surrounding Covid-19, Discovery Center CEO Tara MacDougall wanted to honor patrons’ sense of health and safety by moving the Secret Garden Party to an online platform.

“Our closure on March 16th had an immediate and significant impact on our earned income,” says MacDougall. “As a non-profit, Discovery Center does not have a large reserve; nearly all of our revenues support staff, programs, and outreach that provide unique, hands-on, high-quality learning opportunities for our children and families.”

“This is why we are so grateful for SGP Co-Chairs Julie King and Kelly Goodman for their creative leadership. With the help of their dynamic committee, they are moving us forward this year to celebrate our 28th annual Secret Garden Party and tour with an inspiring virtual flair! Our community’s support of this virtual event is so very much appreciated.”

The new event, titled “Secret Garden Party at Home” will be held Friday, June 5th from 7-8 p.m. online. Ticket holders will receive access to the event, featured on LunchPool. The platform allows participants to interact with one another and view the evening’s presentations, which will include storytelling by Kara Kemp and Kory Wells, a cooking demonstration by Mitchell Murphree of Five Senses Restaurant and Catering, and a discussion of best home gardening practices by Nina Hanson of Lascassas-based Hanson Farms.

In lieu of the party’s signature cocktails and gourmet dining, the Discovery Center is partnering with Five Senses to provide a take-home menu of specially-created fare for the event.

“The Secret Garden Party has been an established event for 27 years, and this year it’s going to be different,” says Kelly Goodman. “Not just a new theme, not just a new location, but it’s a whole new kind of party, and that is exciting! I’m thrilled to see this amazing event come together in a new and creative way.”

“I am so excited to have the Secret Garden Party to celebrate this childhood gem,” says Julie King. ”Having a day to get primped and party in our own backyards will make this year’s Secret Garden Party one we’ll never forget.”

The Secret Garden Tour which normally follows the weekend after the party will also be featured online this year with virtual garden tours of Dr. and Mrs. Joe Little, Ran Powers, and Autumn Schultz. Tours can be viewed at no cost and will be shown on the event’s Facebook event page.

“Our Secret Garden Party Committee has worked so hard to move the summer’s most anticipated summer soirée to a virtual platform, and we are glad to honor our sponsors and guests with a fun program that can be enjoyed from the comfort of their own home,” says Lindsey Jennings, Discovery Center Vice President of Philanthropy. “We are so grateful to those donors who support us each and every year. We can’t wait to celebrate with them on June 5th!”

The annual Secret Garden Party, now in its 28th year, is the premiere fundraiser benefiting the Discovery Center and local support from the community has never been more important. Every dollar raised will be used to fund operations as the Discovery Center “Re-Opens” its doors and welcomes families back to the beloved regional children’s museum.

Tickets for “Secret Garden Party at Home” are $100 and may be purchased online at explorethedc.org/sgp. The Discovery Center is grateful for presenting sponsors The Adams Family Foundation and Dr. Susan Andrews and Dr. Randall Rickard.

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