Almost a sellout

The Dover Elks Lodge #1903 will take inspiration from film and literature to transform their ballroom into the Secret Garden at their gala Saturday, Oct. 26.

The semi-formal benefit from 5 to 10 p.m. will raise money for the Elizabeth W. Murphey School, a Dover residential program for youth referred by the Division of Family Services.

The money raised will specifically go toward buying Christmas presents for the children and supporting their December holiday party.

A cocktail social at 5 p.m. is followed by a buffet-style dinner and speakers, including Mike Kopp, executive director of the Elizabeth W. Murphey School, former Dover Mayor James Hutchison and Lt. Gov Bethany Hall-Long.

Also at the gala will be Mayor Robin Christiansen, Miss Delaware 2019 Hillary May and Christine Seitz, a graduate from the Murphey School. The Imagination Players, a group of young singers and dancers from Delaware, will provide entertainment for the night.

The gala is ticketed at varying levels based on donation, and there will be live and silent auctions.

Coordinator Beth Tarrant said she has been planning for this night since last year.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure that this evening is a totally immersive evening from the time you get out of the car to the time you leave,” Tarrant said. “When you walk in, you will feel it’s a special night all around.”

The theme “Twilight in the Secret Garden” came to her while she was scrolling through Netflix on a rainy Sunday morning, she said.

She started to watch a movie remake of the famed novel The Secret Garden, and she said “it just clicked.”

“I just loved the story. I loved the effects they put into going into the garden,” she said.

From the handmade centerpieces to woodsy decorations, Tarrant said she believes this will be a great time.

“A lot of our decorations and things that we are doing, we are actually hand-making them, or we are using things that we can pick right out of our yards, she said. “We are doing everything we can to keep our budget small, so we can leave more money for the donation back to the Elizabeth W. Murphey School.”