While the glow of the lanterns of ART in the Garden is still fresh in my memory, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this year's gala. Being the "new kid on the block," I had the fortunate perspective to witness and appreciate the hard work that went into Saturday night's success. The combined efforts of the creative gala committee (headed by Lauren Pardo and Melissa Tassé), the remarkable Reeves-Reed staff, the indefatigable Ellen Donovan, the generous auction and gala donors and sponsors, and our gala guests, made this truly a night to remember.
So after just a few weeks here, you may ask, what are my early views on the job? Well, this is a remarkable place. I am surrounded by such natural beauty and supported by a passionate and committed staff and community. Who could ask for more? My vision, at least at this early stage, is to expand upon and deepen the community's expectation of the Arboretum as a daily resource for peaceful walks, education, cultural stimulation, and a sense of cooperative purpose. United in this green vision of a common goal, we will take the Arboretum to new heights.
But there are practical matters as well – how to maintain this historic site and building and preserve the Reeves-Reed legacy? Over the next few months we will be focusing on fundraising efforts to create a new, safe, and historically accurate walk and drive way along the historic perimeter of the property, within our grounds and running parallel to Hobart Avenue. A lot of thought and many meetings have gone into this planning, but we have yet to reach our financial goal in order to proceed with the construction. Nevertheless, our primary focus is to continue to serve our Summit neighbors as well as the surrounding communities, and to provide you with a peaceful and green haven.
As I mentioned in my brief remarks at ART in the Garden, Artist Vincent Van Gogh understood the amazing impact nature has on man in his understanding of the universe and his place in it. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we recognize the transformational power that Reeves-Reed Arboretum has on each and every one of us, on our children, and on our community. I thank you for supporting the power of this very special place and I look forward to many years of working together on our combined vision for the Arboretum's future.