Wednesday, May 15 | 11 am – 2 pm

Get ready to make a grand entrance on Wednesday, May 15th, as Hats in the Garden returns with a vibrant burst of springtime energy!

Join us for an unforgettable celebration of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden’s mission, as we raise our glasses to the blooming expansion of our perennial garden. Picture this: a sparkling champagne celebration, a delectable and extraordinary luncheon, an inspiring artist keynote that’ll leave you captivated, and of course, the pièce de résistance – a legendary hat contest! This fabulously chic annual fundraiser isn’t just an event – it’s a dazzling showcase of community spirit, bringing together over 300 local philanthropists and leaders who share our passion for nurturing nature’s wonders and preserving our botanical paradise.

We are honored to welcome acclaimed environmental artist, Aurora Robson, as our featured artist and keynote speaker for this year’s event.

Aurora’s captivating creations inspire awe and reflection, and her insights into the intersection of art and environmental activism are sure to inspire us all.

About Aurora Robson:

Aurora Robson is a multi-media artist known predominantly for her meditative work intercepting the plastic waste stream. Her practice is about subjugating negativity and shifting trajectories. Her work is a formal meditation on recurring nightmares she had as a child which she hybridizes with forms found in nature. Robson was born in Toronto in 1972 and grew up in Hawaii. She lived and worked in New York City for over 2 decades during which time she studied art history and visual arts at Columbia University. Recently, Robson moved to the Hudson Valley to raise her two daughters with her husband Marshall Coles.

Aurora Robson is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture, a TED/Lincoln Re-Imagine Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Art Work Grant. She has exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries and non-traditional spaces since 2002.

Robson is also the founding artist of Project Vortex, an international collective of artists, designers and architects who also work in innovative ways with plastic debris. Robson is passionate about developing integrative methods for artists and designers to utilize plastic debris as a raw material. Since 2014, Robson has been developing and assisting with the implementation of a course called Sculpture + Intercepting the Waste Stream designed to foster creative stewardship through academia at colleges, universities and high schools around the world.

Special Thanks to Our Co-Chairs, Table Hosts, and Sponsors:

Co-Chaired by:

Carol Carstarphen

Pam Stowe

and Pam Warlick

VIP Table Hosts:

The Carstarphen Family

Pam Stowe

Pam Warlick


3 Keys

Creative Solutions Special Events

South State Bank

Virginia Dunn Photography

Table Hosts:

Cathy Austin
Katie Darling
Renata Gasparian
Gaston Community Foundation
Sarah Highfill
Martha Jayne Rhyne
Holly Roberts & Diane Stamatelatos
Janet Sarn
Caroline Sheppard
Juli Miller & Amy Spencer
Marty Starnes
Palmer Stowe
Sha Tate
Annie Warlick
Brooke Werhane
Julie Shovelin & Betty Wren
Barbara Yarbrough

Ticket Information:

  • Individual Ticket: 1 guest, $300

  • Host Table: 8 guests, $2,400

  • VIP Table: 10 guests, $10,000

For details about VIP Tables, Host Tables, and Corporate Sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to Katie at