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Friends of Lorenzo raise nearly $5K at annual garden gala

Friends of Lorenzo board President Casey Frazee, center, draws the winning raffle ticket for a catered dinner for eight in the Lorenzo gardens, assisted by FOL board members Leanne Burrell, left, and Suzanne Munger. The winner was Sharon Cooney.

Friends of Lorenzo board President Casey Frazee, center, draws the winning raffle ticket for a catered dinner for eight in the Lorenzo gardens, assisted by FOL board members Leanne Burrell, left, and Suzanne Munger. The winner was Sharon Cooney. Photo by Jason Emerson.

— More than 100 people — many in suits, dresses and fashionable hats — spent the evening last Friday enjoying food and wine in the Lorenzo formal gardens, touring the mansion and supporting the Friends of Lorenzo for the group’s annual Garden Gala fundraiser.

“I’m really pleased with the turnout despite a week of terrible weather. It’s such a wonderful evening to kick-off the summer season in Cazenovia and at Lorenzo,” said FOL President Casey Frazee. “It’s a beautiful night to mingle with lots of Lorenzo regulars and great supporters.”

The non-profit group, which is dedicated to preserving the Lorenzo mansion and grounds, raised nearly $5,000 through attendance and raffle ticket sales. That money will be used to support the Friends’ mission to supplement on-going programs, interpret the site to the public, underwrite restoration projects and acquire objects for the mansion. The FOL also supports Lorenzo research and publication projects and sponsors social, historical and cultural programs at the mansion.

“The Friends of Lorenzo started this [garden gala] tradition in about 2005 and every year it gets better,” said Lorenzo Site Director Barbara Bartlett. “This is such a great way to show off all the work in the garden over the past 30 years.”

The Lorenzo formal gardens were created in 1856 by Ledyard Lincklaen and enhanced in 1914 by Helen Lincklaen Fairchild. In 1983, the Friends of Lorenzo hired an experienced gardener who referenced the original 1914 design for plant varieties and placement. Today the formal garden — based on a central path with a sundial as the focal point — includes dozens of flower varieties, including Irises, Peonies, Hollyhocks, Foxgloves and barberries.

In addition the social and horticultural enjoyment, gala attendees also got to tour the Lorenzo mansion and view the newly-installed 2013 exhibit, “From Bustle to Bodice: Layers of Elegance at Lorenzo.” The exhibit features full-length replicas of garments worn by Lorenzo owner Helen Clarissa Lincklaen, her mother Ann Forman Seymour and her daughter Helen Lincklaen Fairchild displayed on mannequins in various rooms throughout the mansion. Additionally, reproductions of servants’ attire, undergarments and family children’s costumes, as well as accessories from the historic collections at Lorenzo, are included.

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