Queens Botanical Garden’s Rambling Rose Gala raises $150k, honors two longstanding supporters of the garden

Queens Botanical Garden Rambling Rose Gala
(From l. to r.) QBG Director of Development Olivia Cothren, Lateisha Jones Thomas, Rose Gala honorees Andrea Woodner and Julia Felix and Raymond D. Jasen at the Queens Botanical Garden’s annual Rambling Rose Gala on June 8. (Photo courtesy of QBG)

 Queens Botanical Garden hosted its annual Rambling Rose Gala on Wednesday, June 8, honoring two longtime supporters of the garden and raising $150,000 to sustain the place where “people, plants and cultures meet.” 

Gala guests “rambled” through various gardens to enjoy the beauty of flowers, indulged at food stations, took part in garden tours and participated in a raffle drawing. 

Attendees included Raymond Jasen, QBG board chair; Olivia Cothren, QBG director of development; Colin Kirk, QBG gardener; Jennifer Ko, assistant gardener; Rose Gala honorees Andrea Woodner and Julia Felix; City Councilwoman Sandra Ung; and supporters and sponsors. 

Queens Botanical Garden Rambling Rose Gala
Photo courtesy of QBG

“The garden is nourished by the support of the community and we are so grateful to everyone who contributed to this event,” said Evie Hantzopoulos, QBG executive director. “The donations raised will ensure that the Queens Botanical Garden continues to provide beauty, healing, environmental programs and culture to Queens and beyond.”

The evening outdoors honored Woodner and Felix with the Rose Gala Award. 

“We know that the Queens Botanical Garden is truly the people’s garden. It’s been reinterpreted and reinvented by generations of Flushing residents. And it prospers under the dedicated care of the remarkable garden staff,” Woodner said. “I can’t thank you enough for what you provide to this neighborhood, to this borough, and to this city. There are really no words to adequately thank you for this honor. My congratulations to the Queens Botanical Garden. It is my best hope and best wishes for what I know will be a great and vibrant future.” 

After expressing gratitude for being honored alongside longtime employer and friend, Woodner, Felix said, “Whenever I come [to the garden], I get recharged. And I look at the people who work at the garden — they are so dedicated.”

Queens Botanical Garden also presented colored roses to individuals, companies and foundations for their generous support of the garden.