Susan Saint James to host a garden party fundraiser

Saint James Garden Party inviation for Master Gardener fundraisingSusan Saint James, well-known for her roles as an actress and her involvement in humanitarian work, will host a fundraising Master Gardener Garden Party at her Connecticut home on Saturday, June 15. Individual tickets are $100 with $60 of that being tax-deductible. Proceeds from this event will support the Master Gardener Fund at UConn.

Saint James, who is a Connecticut Master Gardener and long-time member of The Litchfield Garden Club, will be the keynote speaker at the party. The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources’ Dean Indrajeet Chaubey and Senior Director of Development Amy Chesmer will address the group, as well.

In addition, there will be a backyard luncheon at the Saint James home in Litchfield and a tour of the gardens. Sarah Bailey, the state coordinator for the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program, said, “Gardeners like to share their gardens with others. This will be a fun time.”

Bailey added that the support that Saint James is providing by holding the event is appreciated by the Program. According to Chesmer, such fund-raising initiatives are needed because of Connecticut budget rescission. However, concerted efforts this year have raised $65,000 overall for this self-funded Master Gardener Program.

Since 1978, the Program has conducted educational outreach by providing horticulture training to gardeners. There are about 150 to 200 master gardener students in the 10-month training, which offers once-a-week classes from January to April.

In the summer, the new trainees are required to provide horticultural-related information to the community. They commit to volunteering 120 hours the first year to use their training to help others and then obtain certification. Those who want to stay actively certified continue volunteering. Bailey said, “The latest statics show that the Master Gardener Program has given 37,000 hours of assistance a year to Connecticut residents in the areas of gardening, the environment and sustainability.”

The UConn Foundation registration link for the Master Gardener Garden Party contains additional information. Please note that the registration deadline has been extended to Monday, June 10, which differs from the invitation. Chesmer said the goal is to have 50 to 75 attendees at Saint James’ home and gardens. Can’t attend? Donate Now

By Patsy Evans