Evelyn Mink volunteered at the Welcome Center at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus for 25 years. Now Selby Gardens will create a special place for volunteers like her as part of Phase One of Selby Gardens’ Master Plan.
Selby Gardens announced last week that it will receive approximately $2.5 million through the Evelyn S. Mink Charitable Trust to support Phase One construction of the Master Plan. In her honor, the Evelyn S. Mink Volunteer Suite will be dedicated at the new Plant Research Center that is part of the project.
When the building opens next year, the suite will house volunteer workstations, a lounge area, and the office of the volunteer coordinator.
“For 25 years, Mrs. Mink volunteered in our Welcome Center, contributing almost 5,000 hours of service to Selby Gardens over that time,” said Vera Neumann-Wood, Selby Gardens’ volunteer coordinator. “Until very recently, you could see her driving onto the Downtown Sarasota campus in her Thunderbird convertible!”
Mink’s last day of volunteering at Selby Gardens was in March 2020, just before the Gardens temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mink passed away in June 2021 at 101.
“Evelyn Mink’s dedicated service and generous philanthropy are an inspiration and, really, part of a legacy here at Selby Gardens,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “Both of our campuses were established by forward-thinking women of their time whose influence continues to enrich our community many decades later. When volunteers see Mrs. Mink’s name on their dedicated space in our new facilities, they’ll know she was a special woman who made Selby Gardens an even better place for those who came after her.”
Master Plans totals $53 million
With Mink’s gift, Selby Gardens has now raised more than $53 million for the overall Master Plan, including roughly $49 million specifically earmarked for Phase One.
“We only have $2.6 million left to reach our fundraising goal for Phase One construction,” Rominiecki said.
To meet that goal, several Selby Gardens supporters have issued a Capping Challenge, matching every gift dollar-for-dollar until the milestone is reached. Rominiecki said that planned gifts such as Evelyn Mink’s may be made to the campaign for the Master Plan, including toward naming opportunities.
“Donors can plan a gift now that will be realized later and still see their generous contribution publicly recognized when Phase One is completed just a year from now,” Rominiecki said.
Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County. For more information about the Master Plan, visit selby.org.
Submitted by Greg Luberecki
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Selby Gardens to honor benefactor for $2.5 million gift to Master Plan
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