Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available for the event, which will likely hit an important milestone this year, surpassing $1 million in net revenue raised since the Garden Party was launched in 2003.
Philanthropists Jennifer and Robert McNeil will once again welcome about 500 people to their Springbank Farm in Coatesville for the event that benefits the Coatesville community in a variety of ways. This year’s theme is “A Glimmer of Greece at Springbank Farm,” as attendees will experience the beauty and culture of Greece as they enjoy cocktails, conversation, and an elegant buffet with a Mediterranean twist.
Proceeds from the Garden Party help the Brandywine Health Foundation build community partnerships and launch programs and initiatives that are focused on helping make Greater Coatesville a healthier and more vibrant community. According to Jill Whitcomb, the Foundation’s Managing Director for Philanthropy, the Garden Party has raised $946,884 in net revenue over the last 16 years.
“We would love to keep the momentum going to help surpass our $1 million milestone,” she said.
The Garden Party also kicks off the Foundation’s annual Strawberry Festival, a four-day celebration on the grounds of Brandywine Hospital that begins May 30.
This will mark the seventh year that John Serock Catering has provided a creative menu based on the event’s theme.
“Between servers, event chefs, and bartenders, we will bring a staff of about 30,” said Serock. “It’s one of our largest events of the year, and it’s always an ‘all hands on deck’ affair for the staff.”
In keeping with previous years, Serock and his team will be outfitted in uniforms matching the theme of the party.
“We really embrace the theme because this is an event that really needs to stand out,” he said. “This year, our staff will be wearing blue and white Greek-inspired shirts.”
“Inspired” can also be used to describe the menu that Serock and his team will create for guests. There will be a table for taramasalata and other mezes (appetizers), along with falafel lollipops, lamb kabobs, spanakopita, and skewers of chicken souvlaki and Mediterranean shrimp.
Dinner will include Mediterranean chicken with tomatoes, capers, and lemon, chef-carved beef souvlaki, roasted Santorini cod with a fennel slaw, and vegetarian moussaka.
“The menu will consist of very light flavors which is appropriate for a garden party,” said Serock. “It will be a fun event in a great setting.”
After dinner, the event will feature the popular Battle of the Berries competition, during which one-of-a-kind, berry-themed desserts from local restaurants will be graded on taste, presentation, creativity, and use of berries. The Culinary Excellence Award for the desserts will be presented by a panel of judges consisting of:
- Mary DeAngelis, host of “In the Kitchen with Mary” on QVC
- Chester County Commissioner Terence Farrell
- Chef Peter Gilmore, Program Director of Culinary Arts at Delaware County Community College
- Dayvon Bladen, recipient of the 2016 Harry Lewis Jr. Scholarship Award who is studying pastry arts at Johnson & Wales University
Guests will voice their preferences for the berry entries by choosing the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Competing in this year’s Battle of the Berries are chefs from the General Warren, The Master’s Baker, Bright Spot Café, the Fork and Bottle Restaurant at the Desmond Hotel, Harry’s the Neighborhood Place, Amani’s BYOB, and the Stottsville Inn.
The real winners, however, will be those in the nine municipalities of the Coatesville Area School District. The proceeds from the Garden Party will help the Brandywine Health Foundation in its attempts to make health the easy choice for many in the Coatesville community who struggle to get by.
Click here for more information on sponsorship opportunities or to purchase tickets the Garden Party.
The first two people to e-mail Ken Knickerbocker, publisher of VISTA Today, at email@example.com will receive a free ticket to the 17th Annual Garden Party on May 22.