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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 71st 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 families in Delaware. Currently, Wilmington Garden Day donates a portion of its annual proceeds to Friendship House and St. Michael's School and Nursery.

Friendship House is a nonprofit founded in 1987 when a handful of Wilmington churches saw a gap in winter overnight shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness. Friendship House now operates 4 empowerment (day) centers, the Friendship House Clothing Bank, New Castle County Winter Sanctuary including Code Purple, and 12 transitional housing programs for women and men.

Friendship House does not accept government funding which enables them to walk with clients longer than federally funded programs. After over 30 years, Friendship House clients have evolved from mostly senior citizen homeless veterans, to younger men and women, many battling addiction issues and coming to Friendship House after falling through the safety nets of family and society.

Funding from the Wilmington Garden Day supports the Friendship House Women's transitional housing program where mothers and children work on rebuilding their lives together. Its mission is to serve as a sanctuary and a stepping stone to each person in need through the ministries of hospitality, education, empowerment and community.

St. Michael's School and Nursery Founded in 1890, St. Michael's School and Nursery is Delaware's oldest early childhood program and one of the oldest in the nation. It was originally part of St. Michael's Episcopal Mission near Front and Adams Street on Wilmington's west side. We offered shelter with safety, comfort and life lessons to children whose working parents had limited choices. In its early days, St. Michael's also operated a hospital for babies and was the only place in the city where children of color could receive medical attention. We also offered shelter to homeless and abandoned children as well as facilitated adoptions. Full-day kindergarten was added to the school in 1908.

Today, St. Michael's is a 5-Star Level Delaware Stars early childhood center that serves an average of 130 children ages newborn through pre-school year-round. We continue to be fully dedicated to meeting the needs of the city of Wilmington, particularly families in the East Side community, by providing access to a high quality, affordable childcare and early education experience for young children of working parents. As we enter the next phase in the school's history, St. Michael's is committed to serving an increased number of the infant, toddler and pre-school populations. We believe we can make the greatest impact by preparing more children for success in school as well as helping their families transition through the school choice process. Funding from Wilmington Garden Day supports the school's scholarship assistance program so St. Michael's can remain true to its mission of welcoming all children.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee Members

At Large Members

Lisa Ford(General Chairman)

Mary Ball Morton(Vice Chairman)

Ashlinn Steele (Secretary)

Tom Scott (Treasurer)

Tracy Lea-Dorsey
Kim Eppehimer
Karen Hoepfinger
John Morton
Val Woodruff Noel
Gabrielle Reichert
Margot Williams
Joan Yulduzian

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