Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum is closed today, September 2nd, due to flooding.

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Moonlight & Roses is the Morris Arboretum’s annual fundraising gala to support all aspects of the Arboretum’s mission. More than 450 guests attend the event, which begins with cocktails in the Arboretum's stunning Rose Garden, and ends with dancing under a clear-top tent. This year's event will honor Sally Gendler, along with the Urban Health Lab at Penn Medicine.

Registration at the VIP level will begin in February, and formal invitations will mail in April. If you would like to receive an invitation or have questions about sponsoring Moonlight & Roses , please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at


Sally Gendler (1960-2020)

This year we are privileged to honor the memory of Sally Gendler at the 2022 Moonlight & Roses gala. Originally from Hamden, Connecticut, Sally moved to Philadelphia following her marriage to Steven Gendler. After raising their two daughters, Abigail and Liza, Sally and Steve moved to nearby Meadowbrook Avenue which enabled Sally to walk directly into the Arboretum. Sally took full advantage of her proximity to the gardens and served as an active education guide, horticulture volunteer, and archive volunteer.

She brought her high-spirited enthusiasm, considerable expertise and love of all things related to gardening, growing and environmental protection to everything she did. She reveled in sharing her love of plant life with children as well as adults. Sally was a member of the Arboretum’s Directors Guild and the Moonlight & Roses planning committee, serving as the chair in 2019. She was an active Penn State Extension Master Gardener, and volunteered at The Mt. Airy Playground, where she created an innovative garden to table program through which she taught planting, sowing, and cooking to children and parents in the local community. Sally was a life-long champion of the Morris Arboretum, and we are deeply honored to have this opportunity to pay special tribute to her memory at this year’s gala.

Urban Health Lab logo

Institutional Honoree

Urban Health Lab at Penn Medicine

The Urban Health Lab (UHL) is a research-action group at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania dedicated to partnering with communities to design and test individual and community level interventions to build healthy and safe neighborhoods. The Urban Health Lab has a unique focus on place-based interventions - including vacant lot greening, tree planting, micro-parks, abandoned house remediation, structural repairs to occupied homes, trash clean-up, and more. The UHL is made up of scientists, physicians, staff, and students who believe everyone has the right to live and thrive in a safe and clean neighborhood. The UHL partners with community leaders, non-profit organizations, and policy-makers to advance the science of urban health, particularly in Black and Brown communities.

Committee Members

Honorary Chair

Headshot of Lee Laden

Lee Laden


Christine Bamberger
Gabrielle Baugh
Ruth Chang
Amanda Cobb
Amy Coleman
Kelly Culley

Allison DeCaro
Jessie Deming
Kim Frisbie
Katharine Hager
Ellen Nalle Hass
Natalie Collins Hirshorn

Laurie Marshall
Diane Newbury
Margaret O’Neill
Jennifer Ratner
Sarah Salmon
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 the preservation of the Arboretum’s internationally-recognized gardens and its research and education programs.

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Purchase Tickets

Make a Donation to
Moonlight & Roses

Our Sponsors


Penn Medicine Logo


Independence Blue Cross Logo


Penn Business Services

Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services

The Hill at Whitemarsh


Health Advocate

Amenity Sponsors

Floral Arrangements:

Sarah and Ted Lodge


Shechtman Tree Care

Become a Sponsor

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 2021 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 Garden Railway will not run in the rain. If the rain subsides it will start running around noon today, December 11th.

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

Please note: The Rose Garden is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning until noon.

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.