Fall is underway and the holiday season is just around the corner. Things are quieting down at the Garden as we prepare for winter, but our Lotusland Forever Campaign is in full swing! Here are some updates since last summer.

Campaign Giving

We are still in the early stages of the campaign and have thus far focused our efforts on securing pledges from the Board, Philanthropy Committee and several leadership gift donors. After a productive summer, and many engaging conversations throughout the fall, we are now thrilled to announce that all of the Lotusland Board of Trustees have committed a gift to the campaign! We are deeply grateful for the contributions of each board member and want to thank the following individuals, and their families, for their incredible generosity: Dan Bifano, Laura Bridley, Merryl M. Brown, Ron Caird, Geoff Crane, Lesley Cunningham, Rachael Douglas, Connie Flowers Pearcy, Dorothy Gardner, Anthony Grumbine, David M. Jones, Joseph Marek, Mimi Michaelis, Mari Mitchel, Jeffrey Romano, Stephen P. Schaible, Caroline Thompson, Rick Vitelle, Lisa Bjornson Wolf and Crystal Wyatt.

A special thank you to David and Judy Jones for their incredible generosity in naming the Sunken Drawing Room and to Stephen Schaible for his generous gift kick-starting the Garden’s Master Plan to support vital preparation for our future.

The Board and Philanthropy Committee have shown tremendous leadership and together have raised $3,655,000 in cash and planned gifts for the Lotusland Endowment and $1,777,000 for capital improvements. We are deeply grateful to each member of the Board and the Philanthropy Committee for leading the way in the campaign. These commitments demonstrate to the community that the leadership of Lotusland supports the vision of the Lotusland Forever campaign.

Lotusland Forever Raised to Date

*Gifts committed or received as of 11/12/22

Secured Funds

# of Gifts




Secured Funds

# of Gifts




TOTAL SECURED $14,373,000

*Deferred gifts and pledges will be transformational and revealed during campaign conversations. These gifts will not be realized until after the donor’s lifetime.

Welcome to Our New
Honorary Council Members

Led by Dan Bifano, the Honorary Council is a group of founders, past Trustees and esteemed friends who have given significantly of their time, effort and resources to the organization. The Honorary Council serves to engage those closest to Lotusland to lend historical, institutional and strategic knowledge to the Lotusland Forever Campaign. The Council is a means of engaging with individuals who know and love Lotusland, and it also serves to honor members’ long-standing commitment to the Garden. While the primary role of members of this council is to lend their names, they may also be asked to advocate with an introduction or thank you call, author a letter on behalf of the Garden, or host/attend a Lotusland event.

The following friends and supporters have joined our Honorary Council since Summer 2022:

Ann Jackson Family Foundation
Dorothy H. Gardner
Chana and Jim Jackson
Susan and Palmer Jackson, Jr.
Mimi Michaelis

Lynn Cunningham Brown and Philanthropy Chair, Connie Flowers Pearcy
Julie and Roger Davis

Bubbles and Brunch Celebration

More than 50 Lotusland Forever leadership and friends gathered on November 5 to celebrate early campaign successes and to learn about plans for the coming year. Bubbly and Brunch was enjoyed by all in the Japanese Garden and the Motor Court ending with a special tour of the Cycad Garden. Special thanks to our presenters, Philanthropy Chair, Connie Flowers Pearcy, Board of Trustees Chair, Lesley Cunningham, and Honorary Council Chair, Dan Bifano for joining Rebecca Anderson.

Kim and Geoff Crane, and Ashley Adelson
Crystal Wyatt and Lesley Cunningham
Ed Schneider, Brian and Joanne Rapp with Executive Director, Rebecca Anderson
Gustavo Pace, Kim Hunter and Paulo P. Lima

Capital Improvements Completed
and Underway

Visitors Center Improvements

With early campaign support from Connie Flowers Pearcy and the Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation, we have been able to make dramatic functional improvements to the Visitor Center in 2022.

This year, we have created a brick patio area for greeting guests and gathering groups upon arrival; Installed shade canopies over the entry courtyard; Fabricated a new metal trellis to support the shade canopy, and with it installed a sign greeting guests with our Namesake, directing traffic to the Visitor Center. This winter we are installing water saving technologies including a eco-friendly refillable water fountain and automatic shut off faucets in the restrooms.

Pavilion Roof

Water and dampness had been harming the archival storage in the Pavilion and creating an environment that was dangerous to their conservation. As the initial step in our capital improvements to the Pavilion building and Patio complex, internal gutters were eliminated and the roof and gutters were repaired and replaced to reduce water damage and interference into the structure. Lead gifts from Hania Tallmadge and Mimi Michaelis made this work possible.

Pavilion Patio Project

Thanks to the generosity of donors Julie and Roger Davis, in January we will begin work to restore the iconic Pavilion Patio, making it wheelchair accessible for the first time. Restorations will include long needed infrastructure and drainage updates underneath the patio area, as well as repairs to the inoperable historic tile fountains. In addition to preserving and protecting the George Washington Smith designed Patio, improvements will extend to the Patio adjacent to madame’s Bedroom in the Pavilion and make that structure accessible also. These improvements will ensure the continued mixed use and gathering for events, exhibitions and meetings.

Campaign to be
Announced Publicly at
Lotusland Celebrates

As part of Lotusland’s 30th Anniversary of the Garden (first opened to the public in 1993), we are excited to announce the public phase of the campaign on July 22 at the Lotusland Celebrates gala. There is more work to get us there, but with your help there will be more exciting news to present by summer!

Lotusland Forever
Campaign Conversations

We are revamping our monthly tours for potential supporters into casual Campaign Conversations, which include a behind-the-scenes peek at some of Lotusland’s lesser-known treasures. If you know of someone who might be interested in learning more about helping Lotusland thrive, please let us know.

Campaign Conversations will be held the first Tuesday of each month (after January 10) and will be tailored to the interests of the participants. Conversations will also highlight plans for Lotusland’s conservation goals and plans for the historic buildings’ restoration and innovations.

Campaign Conversations are from 2:00-4:00 pm concluding with a glass of wine and toast to you and the garden!


January 10 | February 7 | March 7 | April 4 | May 2

Please forward names of guests you would like to invite
to Catherine Kort, Campaign and Legacy Gifts Officer,
at 805.969.3767 x106 or ckort@lotusland.org