Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Moonlight & Roses, the Arboretum’s annual fundraising gala, has been a landmark social event in the Philadelphia region for four decades. More than 400 guests attend the gala, which begins with cocktails in the Arboretum’s stunning Rose Garden and ends with dessert and dancing under a clear-top tent. In addition to paying homage to our 2023 honorees, this year’s event will also celebrate the Arboretum’s 90th anniversary as a public garden. Proceeds directly support the Morris Arboretum's work as a renowned public botanic garden and as a center for plant-science research and educational programming for all ages.

VIP tickets for the 2023 gala will go on sale in January, and formal invitations will mail in April. If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at

See photos from the 2022 event here.

2023 Honoree

Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo

This year we are delighted to honor Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo, Executive Director and CEO of ACLAMO. ACLAMO is a nonprofit community service organization that provides educational programs, social services, and access to health and wellness programs to Latinos and other community members. Nelly’s vibrant leadership, dedication to the ACLAMO community, and her passion for the natural world made her an ideal partner in establishing one of the Arboretum’s signature youth outreach programs, ¡Explorar! A Summer Bridge Program. First established in 2016 and based at the Arboretum, ¡Explorar! integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM) to motivate and inspire young learners from the ACLAMO’s STEAM educational program. Nelly has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the “2015 Most Influential Latina” of the Delaware Valley, the 2020 Exceptional Woman Award for her work surrounding social justice and the pursuit to eliminate racism and empower women and was recently named one of the 2022 POWER 100 Who’s Who in Latino Pennsylvania. Nelly holds a degree in Law from Santa Maria University, Venezuela.

Make the World Better logo

2023 Institutional Honoree

Make the World Better Foundation

Founded in 2013 by Connor Barwin during his first season playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, Make The World Better (MTWB) believes that communities prosper when all people have access to high-quality public spaces that provide safe outlets for recreation, sports, and arts-based activities. To this end, MTWB works with communities to connect people and inspire stewardship through the revitalization of public spaces. Led by Executive Director Jesse Rendell, MTWB uses a participatory design process that engages residents in all phases of a project, creating a sense of ownership over public spaces and fostering local leadership that endures after construction is completed. The organization has completed three park revitalization projects in Philadelphia including Ralph Brooks Park (Point Breeze), Smith Playground (West Passyunk), and Waterloo Playground (Kensington), with a fourth project under construction at Vare Recreation Center (Grays Ferry).

2023 Event Chair

Allison DeCaro

Allison DeCaro will be chairing the 2023 Moonlight & Roses planning committee and has been a member of the committee since 2018. She and her husband, Roy, along with their two sons, Alex and Teddy, have spent many hours exploring the beautiful gardens and secret fountains of the Arboretum, and of course, pretending to be squirrels in Out on a Limb. Allison has lived in Chestnut Hill since 2012 and is Vice President of Johnson, Kendall and Johnson’s Private Client Group.

2023 Committee Members

Jan Albaum
Christine Bamberger
Gabrielle Baugh
Ruth Chang
Amanda Cobb
Susan Crane
Elizabeth Eagles
Katharine Hager
Jessie Reed
Melissa Greiner
Ellen Nalle Hass
Regina Mitchell
Margaret O’Neill
Evan Pruitt
Sarah Salmon
Thomasina White
Christine Wilmerding

How the event helps the Arboretum

Moonlight & Roses is the Morris Arboretum’s annual fundraising gala that raises money for the Arboretum’s annual operations. Funds raised through this year’s event will help to support all aspects of Morris Arboretum and will ensure continued excellence in direct support of our mission.

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Purchase Tickets

Make a Donation to
Moonlight & Roses

Our Sponsors


Penn Medicine Logo


Independence Blue Cross Logo


Bank of America

The Hill at Whitemarsh


Johnson, Kendall and Johnson Inc.

Penn Business Services

Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services

Penn Human Resources

Reed Hilderbrand/Kieran Timberlake Team

Springer Capital



Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC

Harth Builders

The Haverford Trust Company

Health Advocate

INTECH Construction

Jane and Leonard Korman Family Foundation

Kristine Robinson's Interiors

PURE Insurance

Robinson Anderson Summers, Inc. Landscape Architects

Studio of Metropolitan Design Architects

Team Whetzel

Amenity Sponsors

Skyview Tent:

Edith R. Dixon

Moonlight Lounge:

Steve Gendler & Family

Floral Arrangements:

Sarah and Ted Lodge


Susan & Moses Feldman


Thomasina White & Anthony Nelson


Shechtman Tree Care

Event Chair – Melissa Greiner

Chairing the 2022 Moonlight & Roses planning committee is Melissa Greiner. Melissa has been a member of the Moonlight & Roses planning committee since 2017. She is the Director of Marketing at CampusESP and lives in Ambler with her husband and two kids.


Honorary Chair – Lee Laden

The 2022 Honorary chair is Lee Laden. Lee, along with her late husband, Steven, became involved with the Arboretum more than three decades ago. They often hosted the Arboretum guides and interns at their West Mt. Airy home. Steve was a member of the Marketing Committee and was instrumental in helping to connect University of Pennsylvania students with the Arboretum. In 2010, Lee established the Steven Laden Marketing Endowment which provides support for Marketing and Social Media efforts. Lee has served on the Marketing Committee since 2010 and is a member of both the Lydia Morris Legacy Society and the Directors’ Guild. She was also a volunteer education guide for many years. Lee’s philanthropy extends beyond the Arboretum to the Curtis Institute of Music and the Wayne Art Center as well. She now lives nearby the Arboretum at The Hill at Whitemarsh.


History of Moonlight & Roses

As a longstanding Arboretum tradition, the Moonlight & Roses gala, which always takes place in early June, is unsurpassed.

The lively garden party we now know as Moonlight & Roses has had a colorful evolution. In the early 1970s, it was dubbed the Spring Fling, and was held on the lawn behind Gates Hall. The late Jane O’Neill was instrumental in the success of the gala in those early days.

In the 1980s, patrons and contributors donned their garden party attire for the event that was rechristened Moonlight & Roses . The evening traditionally begins with cocktails served in the Rose Garden, while dinner, served by a professional catering staff, is held in a festive tent atop the hill near the Widener Visitor Center. Music and dancing round out the evening of friendly conversation and gourmet dining.

Moonlight & Roses has always provided an intimate setting unique to Philadelphia charity events, and is enjoyed by a capacity crowd each year. The Morris Arboretum's annual fundraising gala, Moonlight & Roses , has become a tradition among friends, families, and colleagues in the Delaware Valley.


Alerts & Updates

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

The Rose Garden will be closed for renovations starting on Monday, October 3, 2022 until Spring 2023.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.