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Beverly Hills News – Virginia Robinson Gardens Gala Is Saturday Evening

The newly restored King Palm Court at Virginia Robinson Gardens

Posted Thursday, September 13 – 4:20 p.m.

By Laura Coleman

Beverly Hills’ first estate will once again be transformed to its glory days at Saturday evening’s upcoming Patron Gala, themed as “Mrs. Robinson’s Supper Club.” Presented by the Friends of Robinson Gardens in honor of the estate’s onetime matriarch Virginia Robinson, this year’s annual gala on Saturday, Sept. 15, will honor Rodeo Realty founder Syd Leibovitch with the Spirit of Beverly Hills Award and longtime Friends member Leslie Kavanaugh with the Camellia Award for her charitable contributions to the community and the gardens.

“Mrs. Robinson was the ultimate entertainer,” said Kavanaugh, who grew up a few blocks from the onetime home of Harry and Virginia Robinson and has been a member of the Friends for over 12 years. “Part of what we do is to try to keep the tradition and history alive of Mrs. Robinson and all she did.”

Held around the anniversary of Mrs. Robinson’s birth on the backyard lawn amidst six acres of glorious botanical gardens outside the historic century-old Beverly Hills, the annual gala is always a magical evening.

As part of this year’s gala fundraiser, the friends will also be continuing  a pledge is to add a Sunny Glade to the Virginia Robinson Garden’s Palm Garden, which is the largest stand of King Palms outside of Australia. The pledge represents an extension of last year’s renovation project, which funded a state-of-the-art irrigation system and new water main, resulting in a 20 percent reduction of water use. This year’s pledge will expand the foot path deeper into the forest to an opening called the Sunny Glade and further fund the creation of a pond that will support aquatic birds and exotic plans – all of which will serve to provide insight into the ecosystems of our climate.

For 36 years, since it was bequeathed to Los Angeles County, the Beverly Hills gem has been a public haven for inspiration and learning.

“It’s a very special place and a huge part of the culture and heritage of Beverly Hills,” emphasized Leibovitch, who has lived two blocks away from the gardens for the past seven years. “There aren’t a lot of places like that that a past resident has donated to stay in perpetuity as a treasure for the city.”

The Friends run many programs at the property, including art, gardening, and a variety of children’s tours and teachings, including an annual science fair.

 Tickets for Saturday’s gala event, which includes a slate of live musical performances, food and drinks, may still be available. Visit or call 310-550-2068 to make a donation or for more information.





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