2011 Perennial Society Event

This was a special evening for Fred Meijer, an opportunity for him to thank those who have pledged their support for the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Foundation, assuring that the Gardens will be there for generations to enjoy.

The fifth annual dinner honoring members of the Foundation’s Perennial Society last June 22 was a highlight of the year for Fred and, unfortunately, the last time he would personally thank the Society’s members for sharing his dream that the Gardens will continue operating well beyond his lifetime.

The Society’s members toured the Gardens’ Amphitheater and viewed new sculptures – “Lying Man” by Sean Henry and “Neuron” by Roxy Paine – then mingled and chatted with Fred and Lena Meijer during a cocktail reception.

Before dinner in the Gardens’ Grand Room, Foundation Executive Director Susanne Veeneman introduced Board members Earl Holton, Mike Julien, Ray Loeschner, Kathleen Maine and Fred and Lena Meijer. Veeneman also announced the launch of the Foundation’s new Web site (, and she recognized Nancy Loeschner as an unsung hero and a very special Perennial Society member for her behind-the-scenes work in helping her husband, Ray, the Foundation’s long-time President. As a token of the Foundation’s appreciation, Nancy received a specially designed dish garden.
Ray Loeschner, in his final year as President, gave an update of the Foundation’s activities and presented certificates to the Perennial Society’s new members, including Michael and Sarah Julien and Dr. William and Norma Sprague. Kathleen Ray accepted a certificate for Thomas B. Cornell, who was unable to attend. Another new member, Shirley J. Roskam, also was unable to attend. The new members join scores of others who became Society members by making provisions in their wills or estate plans for gifts of $10,000 or more for the Foundation.
David Hooker, the Gardens’ President and CEO, updated the members on the Gardens’ activities.

Then it was Fred’s turn to again express his sincere thanks and to tell the Perennial Society members how important their support is for the Foundation and the Gardens.
Afterward, as a gesture of appreciation, the Society’s members were invited to take home centerpieces of perennial plants donated by Sawyer Nursery of Hudsonville.
Anyone interested in helping perpetuate Fred’s dream or in learning more about the Perennial Society may contact Susanne Veeneman at 616-791-3901 or