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Garden Day
About

Mission & History

Mission

Wilmington Garden Day is an annual event that raises funds to be distributed to agencies offering programs that benefit underserved children in Delaware.


History

Wilmington Garden Day is a New Castle County tradition, celebrating its 68th year. The first tour, started by a small group of women, took place in 1947 following World War II and featured several beautiful flower gardens that had taken the place of the Victory Gardens needed during the War. WGD blossoms on the first Saturday in May to benefit agencies in Delaware with programs that serve children in need.

In 2008, as a preview to the Saturday tour, the Garden Day Committee created An Evening in the Garden. This elegant party takes place on the Thursday evening prior to Garden Day and is hosted at a spectacular country estate. Over 200 volunteers come together to showcase this legendary Wilmington community event.

Beneficiaries

Wilmington Garden Day, Inc. is a non-profit organization that raises funds to address needs of underserved children in Delaware. Currently, Wilmington Garden Day donates a portion of its annual proceeds to Friendship House, Inc. and St. Michael's School and Nursery.

Friendship House, Inc. was founded in 1987 and serves as a sanctuary and stepping stone for the homeless men, women and children of New Castle County. It currently operates one emergency shelter and nine halfway houses, hosting sixty-five homeless individuals and families on any given night. Its three daytime centers for men and women serve more than 200 homeless clients daily. Its clothing ministry, The Clothing Bank of Delaware, distributes more than 12,000 pounds of quality used clothing monthly through its network of more than 3,000 distribution centers.

Funds from WGD are distributed to Patterson House which offers transitional housing to homeless women and children for 90-180 days and long-term transitional housing for those who have demonstrated a high commitment to programs such as employment training, financial responsibility and life skills training for the mothers as they resume visitation and custody of their children.

St. Michael's School and Nursery founded in 1890, is Delaware's oldest early childhood program and one of the oldest in the United States. Since its founding, it has embraced children from the entire socio-economic spectrum of the community. St. Michael's began as a safe haven for the children of immigrant workers struggling to earn a living in the city of Wilmington's tanneries and factories.

In the early 20th Century its mission expanded to encompass both an orphanage and a children's hospital. By 1908, when St. Michael's established a kindergarten, more formal learning had become an integral part of its mission. Through the decades, St. Michael's program has evolved to meet the changing needs of the community it serves, while remaining steadfast in its belief that children learn best and flourish in a secure, loving and nurturing environment.

Today, 150 children, ages two months through second grade, attend school daily, full-time and year-round. St. Michael's continues to ensure that all children are given an equal chance for a quality early education by providing scholarship assistance to over 80% of its families, funded in part through support from Wilmington Garden Day as well as individuals, foundations and corporate grants.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee Members

At Large Members

Lisa Ford(General Chairman)

Ashlinn Steele (Secretary)

Tom Scott (Treasurer)

Van Downing
Tracy Lea-Dorsey
Kim Eppehimer
John Morton
Mary Ball Morton
Amelia Wierzbicki
Val Woodruff Noel
Joan Yulduzian

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