Sunday, July 14, 2024

Ohme Gardens holds fundraiser concert


WENATCHEE - Ohme Gardens is hosting a concert, July 9, to raise matching money for grants to improve the gardens. “Music in the Gardens” will feature the community inspirational choir, GladSong, and there will be a silent auction of an original painting of the gardens by Ginger Reddington, of Twisp, donated by Kim Reid of Wenatchee. The gardens is located just north of Wenatchee.

“Ohme Gardens truly is a community treasure that the whole community can get behind,” said Tim Meyer, director of GladSong. “The Ohme family had the vision decades ago to create an alpine meadow on the bluffs overlooking the Columbia River and the community can keep that vision going. We would like to see individuals and businesses step up in a big way,” Meyer said.

Samantha Segaline, director of Ohme Gardens, said she hopes the concert will generate matching money needed to apply for a grant to restore and rebuild the gardens’ Ox Yoke picnic shelter. She said the project may be completed for under $100,000 but that it might cost closer to $200,000.

The gardens also need matching money for grants for lighting and paving its parking lot which easily will cost more than an additional $200,000 she said.

Ohme Gardens is owned and operated by Chelan County. “People hear that and assume we are county funded, but we are self-supporting. All of our operating revenue comes from admissions paid by visitors. We do not receive any county or taxpayer money for operations,” Segaline said.

Annual operations are budgeted at about $400,000. Some capital improvements qualify for county funding, but the far larger source is grants and donations through the Ohme Gardens Friends Society, Segaline said.

“Community support has dwindled in recent years, and we would like to turn that around. We’re always looking for volunteers to help with everything from pulling weeds to caring for cacti on cactus point and helping with fund-raisers.

The 9-acre gardens is a favorite tourist attraction, receiving about 25,000 visitors annually. It’s a popular venue for weddings, concerts and other events because of its alpine trees, ponds, flowers, rock paths and scenic views of the Columbia River and Wenatchee. The 6 to 8 p.m. July 9 concert is $35 per person. Tickets are available at Admission includes a fruit and cheese plate. Wine and beer from concert sponsors will be sold. Tax-deductible donations to Ohme Gardens Friends Society will be accepted. All proceeds will go to the society. GladSong performs pop, country, jazz, and gospel pieces. GladSong’s 2022 concerts resulted in $42,000 raised for 11 charitable causes in the Wenatchee Valley. The choir had a benefit concert for the NCW Chaplain Foundation, on June 11, at Christ Center Church in Cashmere, and for a Leavenworth group providing weekend meals for underprivileged children, July 23, at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts Snowy Owl Theater. Information on other summer concerts is available at Sunnyslope orchardists Herman and Ruth Ohme began developing their backyard garden in 1929, planting trees and flowers and building paths. Ohme was quoted as saying, “It was a rock pile, but it had an inspiring view.” The family opened the gardens to the public in 1939. The state of Washington bought it in 1991 and Chelan County operated it. The state gave it to the county in 2008. 



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