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First Rose Garden Gala

University of Georgia football legend Vince Dooley was a special guest at the fundraiser for Smith-Gilbert Gardens.

The first Rose Garden Gala at Kennesaw's brought many community leaders, garden supporters and friends to the grounds to raise funds for future upkeep, educational programs, and growth of the property and historic Hiram Butler home.

The gardens also hope to build a new event facility.

Retired UGA football coach and avid gardener Vince Dooley was the special guest for the Saturday evening event. Dooley brought copies of his gardening book, Vince Dooley's Garden: A Horticultural Journey of a Football Coach, to be purchased and signed to benefit the gardens.

The night's affairs also included live and silent auctions and a sitdown dinner catered by Moments N Time.

The 16-acre property, located at 2382 Pine Mountain Road, is home to more than 3,000 species of plants and hosts weddings, educational classes, bird and flora watchers, and competitions. There is even a spot for bees to be cultivated on the grounds.

Richard Smith and Robert Gilbert bought the 1880 Hiram Butler house and 13 acres of property in 1970. They built the gardens trying to attract birds.

The garden gala is intended to be an annual event.

For more information on the gardens, visit www.smithgilbertgardens.com.

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