Virginia Tech's Hahn Horticulture Garden will be transformed into a tropical paradise for the sixth annual Garden Gala on June 12 from 5:30 to 9 p.m., at the garden on Washington Street on the university's campus.

Guests will enjoy island-themed food and drinks; entertainment by the steel drum band, PanJammers; and a silent auction filled with items such as plants and arts.

Garden staff, interns, and volunteers are creating a beautiful setting for the event. Exotic floral arrangements, designed by David O. Pippin of Richmond, Va., will adorn the tables. In a favorite gala tradition, the arrangements will be given away as door prizes at the end of the evening. The silent auction will offer items, including a week’s stay at a vacation home in the Outer Banks, a quilt by textile artist Linda Fiedler, Wave Hill lawn chairs, a sculpture by Larry Bechtel, and a multitude of unusual and rare plants.

Honorary Gala Chair and President Emeritus of the university, T. Marshall Hahn Jr., encourages the community to “come to a tropical paradise at this year's Garden Gala, add your voice to the 'laughter of the flowers,' and experience the satisfaction of supporting the garden so that others can benefit from its beauty.”

Gala Honorary Hosts for 2010 are Virginia Tech alumni and long-time friends of the garden, Dawn and Gary Lerch, of Midlothian, Va. Dawn’s efforts in her role as associate director of development for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have dramatically increased the level of engagement of many in Virginia’s green industries with both the garden and the Department of Horticulture.

“The Garden Gala is our most important fundraiser of the year,” noted Holly Scoggins, associate professor and garden director. “Every ticket sold or sponsorship made helps us fulfill our mission of education and outreach and our goal to serve as a place of beauty and relaxation on the campus of Virginia Tech.”

Tickets are $50 per person; order before June 4 to ensure delivery. To request tickets or for more information, visit online at, call (540) 231-5970, or e-mail The gala will be held rain or shine.

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