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September 18, 2012 > Night in the Garden

Night in the Garden

By Gustavo Lomas

A brisk and calm evening with sounds and smells created specifically for an imagination's delight; songs of crickets serenading the stars, the scent of flowers beginning to retire under cover of the moon. Sipping on a favorite drink to coax the body into a state of relaxation and the mind toward tranquility; such is a "Night in the Garden."

The Greater Hayward Area Recreation and Park Foundation (GHARPF) will present a gala in the Hayward Japanese Gardens, fittingly called "Night in the Garden." The event is also a precursor to the play "Grey Gardens" that will be presented in the adjacent Douglas Morrisson Theater that evening. GHARPF, founded in 1983, is comprised of private citizens whose goal is to preserve the quality of park and recreation facilities as well as programs within the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (HARD). Since its establishment, the GHARPF has grown to 35 board members, all volunteers, dedicated to finding new ways to serve and invest in the betterment and future of the community. As an entity, their sole purpose is to provide improvements to parks and recreation programs, and continue to offer scholarship programs through numerous fundraisers throughout the year. Since its beginning GHARPF has raised $500,000 and aims to increase that number as an investment in the community.

A stroll through the Japanese Gardens will allow guests to see its beauty and experience a centuries-old culture from thousands of miles away, waiting to be discovered. Four stations will present distinct food pairings with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including water and lemonade, so kids too are welcome and encouraged to walk through the gardens. Pairings will include Ahi tuna crisps and California rolls served with chilled sake; vegetarian spring rolls with a selection of local wines; Japanese pulled pork sliders and Japanese beer. Assorted gourmet chocolates, chocolate dipped strawberries, and California champagne will be served because an evening without something sweet just wouldn't be complete.

After a walk through the gardens, patrons can enjoy the acclaimed play "Grey Gardens," a serio-comic musical in nearby Douglas Morrisson Theatre. The play is the result of a 1975 documentary about Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Edith Bouvier Beale, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. It follows their 1941 glory days in New York high society to their fallen state in 1973, living in the decaying family mansion overrun with cats and raccoons. At the conclusion of the play the audience can join the cast and crew for coffee and desserts.

Samira Hamid, Public Information Secretary for GHARPF, says, "It's a good show, even for those who may never have experienced a live play. The thing we want people to take away from the evening is a pleasant and gracious garden experience and a fun, memorable time."

Tickets for just the garden reception are $50 per person and $75 for both the reception and play. One hundred percent of proceeds will go to our community.

Night in the Garden
Friday, Sept 28
6 p.m. Garden Reception
8 p.m. "Grey Gardens"
Japanese Gardens
22372 North 3rd St., Hayward
(510) 881-6731
Tickets: $50 reception only, $75 reception and play

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