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Bash at the Botanic

A Musical Evening Benefiting Creative Aging

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger | Photos by Don Perry

Creative Aging, a nonprofit organization with a mission to bring the arts into the lives of Mid-South seniors, held its annual fundraising gala at the Memphis Botanic Garden. “Bash at the Botanic” lived up to its name, with almost twice as many attendees as the previous year.

Guests were greeted by a sparkling, multi-colored light show covering the ceiling of the main lobby. Holliday’s Florist created a stunning floral décor. Diana Stein and Gary Kabakoff of D & G Boogie Blues, a duo band featuring keyboard and vocals, provided musical entertainment in the lobby as guests filed in to check out the silent auction items that lined the hallway to Hardin Hall. Up for bid were fine art items from well-known artists like Paul Edelstein and Stephanie King, tickets to The Nutcracker Ballet at The Orpheum, spa treatments, tours of Graceland, tickets to Dollywood, dining gift certificates, a variety of gift baskets, jewelry, and numerous music-related gifts and gift certificates. Private performances from pianist Jessica Robinson, a Creative Aging board member and this year’s event chairman, and piano lessons from Isabelle Welch, tied in nicely to the organization’s focus on arts-based entertainment and engagement for seniors.

“With such a fabulous attendance at this year’s gala, we were able to connect with more people than ever and spread the word about the work we do at Creative Aging,” said Robinson. “My bet, we’re destined for great things — all for the benefit of local senior citizens, as well as the artisans who share their talents through our programming.”

The evening’s main entertainment took the stage in Hardin Hall. First, singer Marcela Pinilla lit up the room with her unique Latin alternative style. Then famed R&B and jazz singer Joyce Cobb and the Bosco’s Trio brought people to their feet for a spin around the dance floor.

Partygoers enjoyed fare provided by Heart & Soul catering, including burger sliders, grilled asparagus, butternut squash soup, salad served in parmesan cheese baskets, bacon-wrapped dates, smoked salmon, tapenade, pork tenderloin with cranberry chutney, and a make-your-own grits bar. The culinary creation that always seems to signal a party, Bananas Foster, offered a tasty finish to the dinner buffet.

“Proceeds raised at the Bash at the Botanic  allow us to continue bringing music and the arts to seniors across Memphis — whether in senior centers, senior residential communities, or at senior-accessible community venues,” explained Mia Henley, Executive Director of Creative Aging. “We look forward to enlarging our programs in 2018 to reach even more older adults in our city.”

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