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Garden Day

Mission & History


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


Wilmington Garden Day is a New Castle County tradition, celebrating its 75th 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.


Wilmington Garden Day, Inc. is a non-profit organization, EIN: 26-3559402, 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 2019 Check Presentation

Friendship House works with people who are experiencing homelessness, houselessness, or both. Ensuring love and support are at the heart of all we do, we address houselessness and homelessness through our programs such as the Clothing Bank, Empowerment Centers, Code Purple, Financial Assistance, and Transitional Housing. Its mission is to unite people facing homelessness with loving, supportive communities they can call home.

Friendship House does not accept government funding which enables them to walk with clients longer than federally funded programs. For more than 35 years, Friendship House has served more than 11,000 people annually through our programs, we aim to fill gaps and support those experiencing homelessness, houselessness, and both. Regardless of one's story or how they come to FH, we believe everyone deserves a place to call home.

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.

St. Michael's 2020 Check Presentation

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 150 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 needs so St. Michael's can remain true to its mission of welcoming all children.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee Members

At Large Members

Brenda Dean (General Chairman)

Valerie Woodruff Noel (Vice Chairman)

Kathleen Ford (Secretary)

Tom Scott (Treasurer)

Leeanne Rocheleau (Evening in the Garden Event Chair)

Audrey Boys
Tracy Lea-Dorsey
Karen Hoepfinger
Ashlinn Lorenzana
John Morton
Mary Ball Morton

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