On Thursday, April 27th, The Groden Network held a new fundraiser, The Secret Garden, from 6:30 -9:00 pm at The Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park in Providence, RI. The following awards were presented at the event:

The Advocacy Award
     RI State Senator Louis P. DiPalma
     RI State Representative Deborah L. Ruggiero
The Humanitarian Award
    Mrs. Lorna Swanson, Former Art Coordinator, The Groden Network

Senator Louis P. DiPalma (D) has represented District 12 (Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton) since 2008. DiPalma was a council member for the Middletown Town Council from 2004 to 2008. He is currently involved with the Middletown School Facilities Core Committee; the Rhode Island Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Committee; the Aquidneck Land Trust; the Sakonnet Preservation Society; the United States Navy League; the Physics First Advisory Board; the St. Philomena School Board of Trustees; the Rhode Island Science and Engineering Fair; the Rhode Island Space Grant consortium; the UMASS Dartmouth Computer and Electrical/Computer Engineering Advisory Committee and serves as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at St. Lucy’s Church.

Representative Deborah L. Ruggiero (D) has served the residents of Jamestown and Middletown in District 74 since 2008. A Deputy Majority Leader, she is the chairwoman of the House Committee on Small Business. She serves as a member of the House Committee on Finance and is the chairwoman of the Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and Transportation. She is also the cochair of the Special Legislative Commission on Defense Economy Planning.

Mrs. Lorna Swanson taught art at The Groden and COVE Centers for nine years, while also providing lesson plans and material boxes to The Halcyon Center. Lorna regularly participated in our Stepping Out Program activities and volunteered her talents towards the creation of The Network’s display at the Annual RI Flower Show.

The fundraiser was a resounding success, with many attendees commenting on the lovely venue and creative menu provided by Russ Morin Fine Caterers, as well as the variety of silent auction items. Plans to schedule this fundraiser in the future are underway! Many thanks to all who attended, made monetary, silent auction, or raffle donations, and to our volunteers!