Green Thumb Gala: a blend of music, art and fun!

What’s better than a saxophone? Two saxophones! That’s what Marcel Holman proved during the recent Green Thumb Gala fundraiser for the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

The Green Thumb Gala, in its 13th year, was a wonderful blend of fundraising, art and compelling music that reflected the culture of the East Knoxville location of its beneficiary, the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

From the smooth jazz of Sheila Gordon and Marcel Holman to the electrifying rhythm of the youthful Drums Up Guns Down program participants, music filled the air and set the tempo for a wonderful evening in the garden.

The Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum is located on 47 acres of former Howell Nurseries, featuring walking trails, display gardens, unique and historic horticulture and over two miles of distinctive stone walls and timeless buildings, just five minutes from downtown. It is privately owned and operated and supported through donations and memberships. The Green Thumb Gala is its largest annual fundraising event.

It was great seeing Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and her husband, Ben Barton, center, at the fun event. To the left is Ralph Cianelli. To the right, Rick Fox, chair of the Knoxville Botanical Garden’s board of directors.

Our friends Trish and Lyle Irish were there. Lyle is the CEO of the Knoxville Area Association of REALTORS, and he has just been named a member of the board of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

So were, from left, Michael Foltz, Kay Clayton, Bob Lederer and Judith Foltz.

And, Matt Prince, left, and Todd Kelly, both of The Trust Company of Tennessee.

The silent auction was interesting. Check out “The Coat of Flame” by Ken Rowe.

Always a hit: a beautiful Patricia Nash purse.

How cute is this?

But this is the item that snagged me — and my credit card! Italian china donated by Joan and Victor Ashe. (Joan is on the board of the Botanical Garden.)

Back to the cocktail party! Susan Arbital likes to dress to match the theme of the events she attends!

Great seeing, from left, Stuart Worden, Lane Hays and Jim Richards, executive director of the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

Marcel Holman and Sheila Gordon playing beautiful jazz.

Nuria Camara and Greg Kaplan. He is running for the Tennessee House seat that Eddie Mannis is leaving.

From left, Mitchell Moseley, Jacque Hawks and Dino Cartwright.

From left, Martha Breazele, Rose Moseley, Harriet Hodge and Theresa Stone.

Maribel Koella, left, and Marty Begalla.

Margie Nichols, left, and Sandra Korbelik.

Kim Litton, left, and Maureen Kelly.

Kathy Brennan, left, and Pandy Anderson.

Another Columbus, Georgia, girl like me! Gail Jarvis in a very appropriate dress for the occasion

Knoxville City Councilmember Janet Testerman, left, with Gay Lyons.

You don’t think these two could possibly be sisters, do you? Ha. Carolyn Schwenn, left, and her sis, Margaret Bartuch.

From left, Craig and Donna Griffith with Ed Shouse.

Dick and Karen Krieg.

Appetizers were good.

Alan Carmichael, left, and Joey Creswell.

Patty Boardwine, left, and Sharon Moore.

Knoxville City Councilmember Andrew Roberto and his Westmoreland Hills neighbor, Judith Foltz.

After a suitable cocktail period (people who hold auctions realize the value of this!), folks were asked to take their seats. Here are Karen Krieg, left, and Joan and Victor Ashe.

Wokie Massaquoi-Wicks and Stephen Wicks.

Sandi Burdick and Tom Boyd.

From left, Sam Anderson, Bob Whetsel, Jean Anderson and Ellen Adcock.

Monique and Bruce Anderson.

Marga and Jay McBride.

My friend and tablemate Kim Henry showing a surprise she received from the “wine pull.” Ironically, it was my favorite Pinot Grigio. I was the luckiest girl at the event: both Joan Ashe and Jacque Hawks surprised me with bottles of it. Don’t worry. I shared!

The centerpieces were pretty.

Kim with Katharine Criss.

David Butler and Marcia Goldenstein.

The desserts were adorable: pudding served with little shovels!

Board Chair Rick Fox made remarks about the huge success of the Knoxville Botanical Garden over the past several years.

And then, this happened! The members of Drums Up Guns Down took the stage!

Drums Up Guns Down was designed to help stop the cycle of gun violence in Knoxville.

There were dancers, too!

Obayana Ajanaku is the founder of Drums Up Guns Down. Click here for a fascinating story about how it was formed.

After the drums and dancing got everyone fired up, the live auction was a huge success. What a good strategy that was!


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6 Responses to Green Thumb Gala: a blend of music, art and fun!

  1. Joan Ashe, on September 27th, 2022 at 4:45 pm said:

    Fantastic pictures…… you even got one of the “little shovels”….. want everyone to know the theme this year was “ Dig our Destination” as we are encouraging more and more visitors!

  2. Sandra Clark, on September 27th, 2022 at 8:47 pm said:

    Great job with all of this, Joan Ashe.

  3. Cynthia Moxley, on September 27th, 2022 at 10:11 pm said:

    Thanks, Joan, for pointing that out!

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on September 27th, 2022 at 10:28 pm said:

    Sandra: Agree. Joan has done an wonderful job supporting the Knoxville Botanical Garden!

  5. Monique Anderson, on September 28th, 2022 at 12:11 pm said:

    Lots of fun. Can’t believe how well our dinner auction item went.

  6. Cynthia Moxley, on September 28th, 2022 at 1:25 pm said:

    Monique: Yes, our downtown group attracted a lot of attention to the progressive dinner we auctioned off. It went for $4,400! And, at the request of the Botanical Garden Board, we agreed to do it twice!

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