At the December 4 General Membership Meeting Donna McGinnis, President and CEO of the Naples Botanical Garden, spoke to the Naples Garden Club about the close relationship that the Botanical Garden has with our Club. She thanked us for our donation to the Garden which was the first major contribution to the Replant and Regrow fund, established to repair the devastation of Hurricane Irma.
Our club’s $30,000 donation, which represents most of our grant money available for the year, was combined with personal donations. The $20,000 of individual contributions were doubled by a matching grant from a donor to the Botanical Garden to yield a total gift of $70,000.
Donna also thanked the volunteers from NGC who helped with the clean-up effort in the heat of September. She showed a video which illustrated the debris from the devastation. Five hundred trees were downed but 200 of these were able to be replanted. The plants which will be needed for restoration are not available from nurseries or wholesalers; they need to be grown from seed and obtained from other botanical gardens and throughout the world. This will be a massive, long term effort.
The comments were heartwarming. She said that our donation gave a boost to the staff, who had been working tirelessly. Our demonstration of support reinforced our long-standing relationship and validated our appreciation of our Botanical home.