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Moonlight & Roses

A large group of people in semi-formal attire mingle in a rose garden.
Text: Moonlight & Roses

Friday, June 2nd, 2023

Moonlight & Roses, the Arboretum’s annual fundraising gala, has been a landmark social event in the Philadelphia region for four decades. More than 400 guests attend the gala, which begins with cocktails in the Arboretum’s stunning Rose Garden and ends with dessert and dancing under a clear-top tent. In addition to paying homage to our 2023 honorees, this year’s event will also celebrate the Arboretum’s 90th anniversary as a public garden. Proceeds directly support the Morris Arboretum's work as a renowned public botanic garden and as a center for plant-science research and educational programming for all ages.

A large group of people sitting at tables underneath a clear-top tent decorated with lights.
Registration is now open at the Benefactor and Patron levels.
Guests at these levels will be invited to attend a VIP reception in the Rose Garden from 5 pm – 6 pm on the evening of the gala. In addition, these guests will receive premium valet parking for the event.
Register by March 13 to be listed on the invitation, which will be mailed in April.
Reservations for our Supporter and Young Friend levels will be available in April.
Invitations will be mailed to all Holly level members and above. If you wish to receive a copy, or are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at
See photos from the 2022 event here.

2023 Honoree

A Latina woman smiles at the camera with the American flag off to the side.
Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo

This year we are delighted to honor Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo, Executive Director and CEO of ACLAMO. ACLAMO is a nonprofit community service organization that provides educational programs, social services, and access to health and wellness programs to Latinos and other community members. Nelly’s vibrant leadership, dedication to the ACLAMO community, and her passion for the natural world made her an ideal partner in establishing one of the Arboretum’s signature youth outreach programs, ¡Explorar! A Summer Bridge Program. First established in 2016 and based at the Arboretum, ¡Explorar! integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM) to motivate and inspire young learners from the ACLAMO’s STEAM educational program. Nelly has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the “2015 Most Influential Latina” of the Delaware Valley, the 2020 Exceptional Woman Award for her work surrounding social justice and the pursuit to eliminate racism and empower women and was recently named one of the 2022 POWER 100 Who’s Who in Latino Pennsylvania. Nelly holds a degree in Law from Santa Maria University, Venezuela.

2023 Institutional Honoree

Text: MTWB - Make the World Better
Make the World Better Foundation

Founded in 2013 by Connor Barwin during his first season playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, Make The World Better (MTWB) believes that communities prosper when all people have access to high-quality public spaces that provide safe outlets for recreation, sports, and arts-based activities. To this end, MTWB works with communities to connect people and inspire stewardship through the revitalization of public spaces. Led by Executive Director Jesse Rendell, MTWB uses a participatory design process that engages residents in all phases of a project, creating a sense of ownership over public spaces and fostering local leadership that endures after construction is completed. The organization has completed three park revitalization projects in Philadelphia including Ralph Brooks Park (Point Breeze), Smith Playground (West Passyunk), and Waterloo Playground (Kensington), with a fourth project under construction at Vare Recreation Center (Grays Ferry).

2023 Event Chair

A white woman with blond hair smiles at the camera.
Allison DeCaro

Allison DeCaro will be chairing the 2023 Moonlight & Roses planning committee and has been a member of the committee since 2018. She and her husband, Roy, along with their two sons, Alex and Teddy, have spent many hours exploring the beautiful gardens and secret fountains of the Arboretum, and of course, pretending to be squirrels in Out on a Limb. Allison has lived in Chestnut Hill since 2012 and is Vice President of Johnson, Kendall and Johnson’s Private Client Group.






A climbing pink rose bush surrounded by other summer flowers with a summer house in the background.

2023 Committee Members 

Jan Albaum
Christine Bamberger
Gabrielle Baugh
Ruth Chang
Amanda Cobb
Susan Crane
Elizabeth Eagles
Katharine Hager
Jessie Reed
Melissa Greiner
Ellen Nalle Hass
Regina Mitchell
Margaret O’Neill
Evan Pruitt
Sarah Salmon
Thomasina White
Christine Wilmerding



Our Sponsors

Penn Medicine logo
Penn Human Resources logo
Indepedence Blue Cross logo
Johnson Kendall Johnson logo

The Hill at Whitemarsh
Penn Business Services
Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services
Springer Capital


Allison & Roy DeCaro
CCI Consulting
Harth Builders
Jacki & Pat Mullen
Pennoni Associates Inc.
Studio of Metropolitan Design

Amenity Sponsors

Skyview Tent: Edith R. Dixon
Signature Cocktail: Steve Gendler
Wine: Thomasina White & Anthony Nelson
Beer: Christine & Michael Bamberger

Two woman talking and laughing on a garden bench surrounded by roses.
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 help to support all aspects of Morris Arboretum and will ensure continued excellence in direct support of our mission.