San Antonio Botanical Garden Celebrates With 15th Annual Gala

By Jake Gaines Photography by Greg Harrison

THE SETTING: Recently, over 600 guests attended the 15th Annual Splendor in the Garden gala at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Guests were greeted with refreshments, including the signature cocktail, a classic Sazerac, and champagne en route to The Betty Kelso Center. Adorned in dreamy floral print frocks and garden cocktail attire, everyone then progressed through the west doors to view a lush landscape, themed after the roots of the venue in the community.

THE STYLE: After posing for photos with living wall backdrops, walking trees, and a Mother Earth stilt walker, guests enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres by Jason Dady Catering and Events and music by the Michael Alanis Band. As the sun set, guests made their way to Greehey Lawn for a decadent dinner. The vichyssoise was a refreshing first course, followed by welcoming remarks by the President of the Garden’s Board of Directors, Omar Akhil, and Mayor Ron Nirenberg. CEO Sabina Carr presented an extensive array of children’s programming available at the Garden. She introduced the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, Rick Shaw, who led an exciting flurry of fundraising with a paddle raise that quickly climbed to six figures in funding for the organization. Guests enjoyed dinner that featured an artfully plated red wine braised beef short rib and petite crab cake atop parsnip puree, blackberry bordelaise, and a duo of mushrooms and mustard frills that mimicked a forest floor. The sweet ending was Chef Dady’s Mississippi Mud Pie. The tunes of DJ Catwalk attracted guests back into The Betty Kelso Center for dancing and late-night tacos.

THE PURPOSE: Cally and Will Kothmann, with a dedicated steering committee, chaired this year’s gala. Proceeds from the event benefit children’s programming and operations at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Its mission is to enrich lives through plants and nature by offering over 600 programs and welcoming over 368,000 visitors annually. The Greehey Family Foundation and the Mays Family Foundation were recognized for their long-standing support, as well as the gala table sponsors, underwriters, contributors, and guests making this year’s 15th Annual Gala the most successful fundraising event in the organization’s 42-year history.