Patronage in the Garden goes beyond wine

Grace Huseth


Beneath a large white tent, the Statesboro community supported the Gardens of the Coastal Plain at GSU with wine in their hands and a smooth jazz band.

The goal of the annual Wine, Moonlight and Magnolia benefit was to raise money for the growth of the Garden, yet the event proved that the community can contribute to the garden through talents, interests and education as well.

The harmonizing element that brought the benefit together Thursday evening was GSU’s own Jazz Combo that contributed to the Garden by playing light background jazz music.

Playing at events like Wine, Moonlight and Magnolia gives the Jazz Combo a chance to get more acquainted with the members of the band, Mark Blankenship, sophomore music major said.

The more gigs the better, but this event has a particularly nice setting for jazz,” Blankenship said.

As the jazz cycled, wine aficionados rotated from table to table sampling wines contributed by various distributors in the southeast. The music set a tone where both long time Garden members and those new to the community could enjoy the Garden.

I’m not a member, but will be shortly,” said Bill Scarth, who recently moved to Statesboro last July.

Benefits and galas give people a glimpse into how they can support the Statesboro community. The public will me more likely to support the Gardens after special events like Wine Moonlight and Magnolias, Scarth said.

Environmental Biology professor Lorne Wolf has been supporting the Gardens for 15 years by attending Wine, Moonlight and Magnolias and through educational programs.

I’ve been supporting the Gardens since I’ve been here, both spiritually, financially and educationally,” Wolfe said.

Some of the money raised at Wine, Moonlight and Magnolias will help fund the horticultural educational programs the biology department at GSU regularly collaborates with, Wolfe said.

The Camellia Garden Club, an important patron of the Garden of the Coastal Plain, contributed hours of planning to give the community an event in which they can share in the joy of supporting the Gardens, Julie Churney, administrative coordinator, said.

Churney said, “The hard work done by the Camellia Garden Club paid off. The rain held off, we had a cool breeze. What could be better in the Garden?”