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Updated 1:00 PM June 30, 2003



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Don't miss: Summer gala to benefit botanical gardens

The helliconia vellerigera, or "Lobster Claw," at the Matthei Botanical Gardens. A print of the photo will be one of many included as auction items at the Gardens' "A Summer Gardenscape Gala" July 26. (Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens (MBG) will host its annual summer gala 6-10:30 p.m. July 26 and dedicate the final installation in the Gardenscape project. This year's installation, designed by landscape architecture graduate students in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, is a redesign of the shade garden.

The proceeds from this year's "A Summer Gardenscape Gala" will go to the design, fabrication and installation of new interpretive signage for the observatory. MBG's mission is to help visitors understand the role of plants, both in nature and in relation to humans.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the gardens. Guests will have an opportunity to meet the honorary chairs for the event: U-M President Mary Sue Coleman and her husband, Kenneth, and Ford Motor Company Chief of Staff John Rintamaki and his wife, Marilyn.

The local vocal jazz group PRime will entertain.

Presiding over the live auction will be WUOM's Todd Mundt, host of a daily interview show carried by 52 National Public Radio stations across the country. From 8:30-9:30 p.m., Mundt will offer up for bid unique and specialized items for the garden:

• Jewelry with a garden and nature theme created for the event by prominent local jewelers

• Works by local artists

• Special garden ornaments

• Travel tours with a green theme. Three go to the Gardens of the Pacific Northwest, the Magical Spring Gardens of Cornwall and Holland, and Kosta's Costa Rica.

Tickets are $75 and reservations are required. For more information, call (734) 998-7061.

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