“It gets more extravagant each year” – 20th annual Hats in the Garden Gala

Reporter: Jacquelyn Kisic
Published: Updated:

The 20th annual ‘Hats in the Garden’ was a sold-out event, The Naples Botanical Gardens’ biggest fundraiser of the year to raise funds to keep up the 90-acre garden.

Surrounded by over 20,000 different plant species, the Naples Botanical held its annual event inside a large, structured party tent.

Inside the tent, guests enjoyed a champagne celebration, luncheon, raffle, and a runway show featuring fashion designer Carolina Herrera.

During the ‘Hats in the Garden’, Chair Barbie Hills, announced the Botanical Gardens received $2.8 million in donations. She says it’s about bringing locals and visitors to support the gardens.

“It’s important work they do, especially after the storm; they helped the whole community know what to build and plant,” said Hills, “Then they find out about the charity, how important it is, and what they do is.” 

The money will potentially go towards adding and widening curtain pathways throughout the garden. With wider pathways, Hills says they could add a tram for those to sightsee in the garden.

Several of the women said their outfits and unique hats were all purchased in Naples stores to support local businesses.

The hats are made by different designers and come in all shapes, colors, and designs. The woman who won the most unique hat had a large brown-orange bird side hat made by a designer in New York, complementing her outfit.

“This is the event of the season, in my opinion,” said Karen Grimm. “The fashion is second to none.”

“I love seeing all the different hats, all the different dresses,” said Amy Quinn, “A reminder that spring is upon us.”

“It seems like the hats get more extravagant each year,” said John Quinn. “So, it’s a fun event just to see the hats.”

Several of Jennifer Harrill’s friends attended Harrill’s first ‘Hats in the Garden.’ The group realizes how important supporting the local garden grounds is.

“We need everyone’s support,” said Harrill, “To make sure we continue to have this type of facility here in our backyard.” 

WINK News’ sister company, Gulfshore Life, was the media sponsor of this gala.

The Naples Botanical Garden is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located at 4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples, FL 34112.

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