Annual farm dinner raises $102,000 for Delaware Botanic Gardens

Dagsboro attraction set to open in 2019
October 10, 2017

Supporters of Delaware Botanic Gardens stepped up at the 10th anniversary farm dinner Sept. 28, raising more than $100,000 for the Dagsboro project.

Dover-based George & Lynch Inc. announced the company found it was under budget for site work of the 37-acre garden, allowing it to donate $50,000 to the gardens. Company President Chris Baker announced that donation at the dinner, held at Good Earth Market in Ocean View. Baker challenged supporters to match his company’s donation.

An emotional Gregg Tepper, director of horticulture, said giving money to the garden project means much more than purchasing plants.

“It’s not just about the garden,” he said. “It’s not just about the plants. It’s about a habitat, and creating a beautiful community for people.”

Members of the Delaware Botanic Gardens board couldn’t sit down to dinner without paying tribute to the man who had a vision for a rustic fundraiser a decade ago.

“I will never do this event without mentioning Matt Haley,” said advisory council member Sue Ryan, owner of Good Earth Market and Organic Farm. Since Haley first proposed it, the dinner has grown into an elegant fundraising effort, she said, calling Haley a visionary. Haley, a popular local chef and restaurateur, died in a motorcycle accident near Nepal during a humanitarian mission in 2014.

Ryan and others also thanked donors and volunteers for making the project possible. “This time we said let’s be aspirational,” garden Board President Ray Sander said after the dinner. “People responded beautifully.”

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