Spotlight: Spring Garden Gala Volunteers

MSHS could not put on events such as the Spring Garden Gala without the many volunteers who help us out. One of the standouts has been board member Toni Kluck, who was profiled in the March/April issue of Northern Gardener.

Toni Kluck, left, and Dick Larson announce some of the winners at last year’s Spring Garden Gala. Toni’s volunteer efforts make this a successful fundraiser to support MSHS educational programs.

“I’m a utilitarian gardener who wants to create beautiful space that my family will use,” says Toni, who applies that same approach to her leadership role in organizing the annual MSHS fundraising event, the Spring Garden Gala, to be held April 1 at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale. She took on the role because she likes hosting big events and felt it was the best way for her to fulfill the most important task of board members—raising funds for the society’s educational programs.

Toni loves what she calls the gala’s “wow factor.” “How can you not be amazed when you walk in that room and see all those flowering plants at that time of the year? It is the most beautiful fundraising event in the Twin Cities,” she says. The gala supports Toni’s favorite MSHS programs, Garden-in-a-Box, which provides vegetable garden kits and gardening education to low-income and at-risk children, and Minnesota Green, which provides donated plants to community greening spaces. She sees a parallel between these programs and the Spring Garden Gala: “Both keep growing and demanding more and more plants!”

The growth of the plant fashion show and the audience was one reason the gala moved to a larger venue for 2017. “It’s a challenge to move to a new space with an evening event only,” says Toni, “but we need to be good stewards of the society’s resources, and we raise more funds at the dinner each year. This way, we can reach more kids and families with our programs.”

Tickets to the gala, which will be hosted by KSTP-TV personality (and avid gardener) Elizabeth Reis, can be purchased through our website or by calling the MSHS office at 651-643-3601. Don’t miss this terrific event!