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Bash at the Botanic

A Musical Evening Benefiting Creative Aging

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger  | Photos by Don Perry

Over 250 guests gathered at the Memphis Botanic Gardens for the annual Creative Aging fundraiser, Bash at the Botanic. “Proceeds from our fabulous one-night party allow us to touch the lives of seniors every day in communities where they live and gather,” explained Terrie Kirksey, Assistant Director of the nonprofit organization.

Upon entering the main lobby, party-goers were greeted by the soulful sounds of Breeze Cayolle and Bob Sunda. Silent auction items lining the hallway to Hardin Hall offered fine art items from well-known artists like Paul Edelstein, Stephen Hudson and David Simmons, collections of dining gift cards, tickets to IRIS Orchestra and Memphis Symphony Orchestra, jewelry, a variety of gift baskets, a guided duck hunt in Tunica, and numerous music-related gifts and gift certificates.

“Bash at the Botanic is a wonderful way to celebrate what Creative Aging does,” added event chairman Jessica Robinson. “My dedication to Creative Aging is a way for me to honor my mother, Mickey Eason, who lived life to the fullest every minute and thoroughly enjoyed the arts. This evening is yet another means we have to help connect more people to Creative Aging and spread the word about the work we do of bringing the arts to senior citizens.”

Mia Henley, Executive Director of Creative Aging noted that, “We have increased the number of communities we serve by 30 percent in the last 12 months. Also, we’ve expanded our Senior Art series which offers accessible daytime arts programming to individual adults.”

The evening’s main entertainment, the incomparable Joyce Cobb and the Bosco’s Trio, took the stage in Hardin Hall, proving why her music has been a favorite of Memphians for over four decades. Guests enjoyed fare provided by CFY catering, including grits and grillades, herb-roasted chicken with tomato jam served over white wine Parmesan risotto, and Hot Brown Mac and Cheese. Chocolate bread pudding served with a warm caramel sauce topped off the meal. After dinner, Jewel Jones & the More Soul Band brought people to their feet for a spin around the dance floor.

Party hosts include Cathy and Jeremy Ainsworth, Jane and Tommy Byrnes, Michael Escamilla, Gail and Ray George, Amy and Emmel Golden, Judi and Rodney Gray, Mia and Paul Henley, Lucia and Ricky Heros, Barbara Loevy and Meryl Klein, Jennifer and Joe Roberts, Jessica and Jim Robinson, Melinda and Phil Russell, Kaki and Vince Smith, Caley and Joshua Spotts, and Barbara and Gary Sysak. 

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