Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

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Moonlight and Roses Gala

Photo Credit: Ashley E. Hackett

Moonlight & Roses
June 2, 2017

Thank you to everyone who joined us and supported the 2017 Moonlight & Roses gala. We had a stunning evening and welcomed more than 450 people to the garden. Proceeds from Moonlight & Roses help to preserve the Morris Arboretum as a renowned public botanic garden and as an internationally-recognized center for horticultural research and environmental education. Funds raised through this year’s event directly support ongoing historical preservation of the garden’s many horticultural and architectural features, as well as our educational and outreach programs. Save the date for 2018 – Friday, June 8.

Click here to see photos from the gala.

What could be better than a magical night of dining and dancing under the stars, surrounded by the lush beauty of roses in bloom?

Moonlight & Roses is the Morris Arboretum’s annual fundraising event to support all aspects of the Arboretum’s mission. The evening begins with cocktails in our stunning Rose Garden at the peak of its bloom. Dinner follows underneath of a clear-top tent with a live band, dancing, and open bar.

Online registration is now closed. Please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at 215-247-5777 x418 to check availablity.

Click here to register online now. Guests joining us as Benefactors or Patrons will be invited to attend a VIP reception in the Rose Garden from 5:30pm – 6:00pm on the night of the event. In addition, there will be the provision of premium parking at the top of the hill that evening. Can't attend the event? Click here to make a donation.

If you wish to receive a copy of the invitation or have questions about the event, please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at 215-247-5777 x418 or

No paper tickets will be issued. Names will be held at the door.

Register Online Now

Event Details

  • 5:30pm Benefactor and Patron Reception
  • 6pm Cocktails in the Rose Garden
  • 8pm - 11pm Surf & Turf Dinner and Dancing
  • Semi-formal, garden party attire.

2017 Honorees

This year we are delighted to pay tribute to Patricia W. and Clarence Z. Wurts (Patty and Binky) as the 2017 Moonlight & Roses honorees. The Wurts family - including Binky, Patty, their sons Ben and Charlie, and now their grandchildren – have been treasured members of the Morris Arboretum community for over four decades. Their active involvement and deep commitment to this institution have inspired more than a generation of Arboretum friends and visitors. Patty and Binky share a strong sense of civic responsibility and, despite busy lives with a demanding career and a growing family, the Wurtses have long been known across the region for their volunteerism, their hospitality, and their philanthropy. Patty is an Emeritus Garden Club of American Horticulture judge. She is also an avid gardener and an enthusiastic photographer. Binky, an experienced fundraiser and knowledgeable plantsman, was a valued member of the Morris Arboretum’s Always Growing Campaign Cabinet and Vice Chair of the Arboretum’s Development Committee. He currently serves as Chair of the Plant Science Committee, is a member of the Physical Facilities Committee, and joined the Morris Arboretum’s Advisory Board of Managers as a Corporate Trustee in 2012.

The Morris Arboretum is deeply honored to have this opportunity to pay special tribute to Patty and Binky Wurts during the Moonlight & Roses gala - for their extraordinary commitment to enhancing the quality of life for the greater Philadelphia region, for their tireless advocacy on behalf of the Morris Arboretum, and for their generous spirits which have left a lasting impact on our community.


Chairing the 2017 Moonlight & Roses Planning Committee is Amanda Cobb. Amanda joined the M&R planning committee in 2015 when she and her family returned to the Philadelphia area after 10 years in New York.  She grew up in nearby Gwynedd Valley and often visited the Arboretum as a child, a tradition that she now enjoys sharing with her husband Andy and two young sons, Charlie & Win. Amanda is passionate about the Arboretum's mission to be a center for education and outreach in the community and is grateful for the opportunity to chair this year's event.   She is currently a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach in Chestnut Hill.  She can often be found in the Arboretum running behind two small boys at the Garden Railway, or working the hand pump at the log cabin.

How the event helps the Arboretum

Moonlight & Roses is the Morris Arboretum’s annual fundraising gala that raises money for the arboretum’s annual operations. Funds raised through this year’s event will support all aspects of Morris Arboretum and will ensure continued excellence in direct support of our mission.

History of Moonlight & Roses

As a longstanding Arboretum tradition, the Moonlight & Roses gala, which always takes place in early June, is unsurpassed.

The lively garden party we now know as Moonlight & Roses has had a colorful evolution. In the early 1970s, it was dubbed the Spring Fling, and was held on the lawn behind Gates Hall. The late Jane O’Neill was instrumental in the success of the gala in those early days.

In the 1980s, patrons and contributors donned their garden party attire for the event that was rechristened Moonlight & Roses . The evening traditionally begins with cocktails served in the Rose Garden, while dinner, served by a professional catering staff, is held in a festive tent atop the hill near the Widener Visitor Center. Music and dancing round out the evening of friendly conversation and gourmet dining.

Moonlight & Roses has always provided an intimate setting unique to Philadelphia charity events, and is enjoyed by a capacity crowd each year. The Morris Arboretum's annual fundraising gala, Moonlight & Roses , has become a tradition among friends, families, and colleagues in the Delaware Valley.

Become a Corporate Sponsor

Become a Corporate Sponsor Become a Corporate Sponsor Morris Arboretum would be happy to provide you with more information on the Corporate sponsorship benefits of Moonlight & Roses and the many effective ways to tap into the loyalty and buying power of the over 3,000 households who receive the invitation each year, the 10,000 constituents who subscribe to the Morris Arboretum e-newsletter and the over 880,000 people that visit our website each year. To become a corporate sponsor, please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at 215.247.5777 x418 or

To become a corporate sponsor, please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at 215.247.5777 x418 or

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Committee Members


Patty & Binky Wurts


Amanda G. Cobb


Cynthia Affleck
Christine Bamberger
Tari Carlson
Ella Studdiford Cary
Amy Coleman
Kelly Culley
Adriana della Porta
Jessie Deming
Kate Earle
Kimberly Freeman
Kim Frisbie
Alisa Huth Gifford
Mary Graham
Ellen Nalle Hass
Natalie Hirshorn
Eileen Javers
Joann M. Lytle
Debra Rodgers
Elizabeth Salata
Sarah Salmon
Gabrielle Baugh Smith


Alerts & Updates

The paths around the wetland will be closed on Thursday, September 21st and Friday, September 22nd for invasive plant management work in the area. Thank you for your patience during this time. Click here for hours.

Please be advised that the Rose Garden is closed on Thursday mornings for maintenance.

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.