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Tom and Sherry Koski Commit $1 Million to Selby Gardens Master Plan

Gift Adds to Pool of Matching Funds for Phase One “Capping Challenge”

 

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SARASOTA, Fla., January 18, 2022 – Philanthropists Tom and Sherry Koski have committed a gift of $1 million to support the Master Plan for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus.

The contribution will help Selby Gardens realize the first phase of its Master Plan, which is scheduled to open in August 2023 and will make it the first botanical garden complex in the world with a certified “net positive” energy rating. With their generous gift, the Koskis also join an initiator group of donors who have seeded a matching challenge to catalyze the remaining philanthropy needed to complete Phase One of the project.

“We are overjoyed that Sherry and Tom are investing so generously in Selby Gardens’ transformation,” said Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “The Koski family are philanthropic leaders in our community, and this thoughtful gift says that our project is worth supporting.”

To date, Selby Gardens has raised over $45 million for construction of Phase One of the Master Plan. According to Rominiecki, the plan will preserve the legacy of Marie Selby, who envisioned a botanical garden in the heart of Sarasota, while securing the Gardens’ world-class collections and positioning it as an international leader in sustainability and visitor engagement. Through the Phase One Capping Challenge, gifts to the campaign from the community are currently being matched dollar-for-dollar.

For the Koskis, who support numerous causes in Sarasota through philanthropy and volunteer service, this investment in the future of Selby Gardens is also an extension of their family legacy. Tom’s late father, Robert E. Koski, served on the Board of Trustees of Selby Gardens from 1991 to 2001, leading it as Chair from 1992 to 1994. Tom’s mother, Beverly Koski, is a member of Selby Gardens’ Advisory Committee and a Leadership donor to the Master Plan campaign herself.

“Selby Gardens is essential to the culture that is Sarasota,” said Sherry and Tom Koski when asked for comment. “Their contributions to education and research make their Master Plan a requirement for success. Our family has been a proud supporter of the Gardens, and we celebrate their significant accomplishments.”

Phase One of Selby Gardens’ Master Plan will include a new Welcome Center; a cutting-edge Plant Research Center with a state-of-the-art Herbarium, Laboratory, and Research Library; and the Living Energy Access Facility, or LEAF, which will house parking, a gift and plant shop, and a garden-level restaurant while being capped with a 50,000-square-foot solar array that will provide one megawatt of power.

To learn more about the Master Plan for Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus, go to selby.org.

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An aerial-view rendering of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus after its multiphase Master Plan is completed.

 

About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provides 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history. Established by forward-thinking women of their time, Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County, Florida. The Downtown Campus on Sarasota Bay is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, and other tropical plants. There is a significant focus on botany, horticulture, education, historical preservation, and the environment. The Historic Spanish Point Campus is located less than 10 miles south along Little Sarasota Bay. One of the largest preserves showcasing native Florida plants that is interpreted for and open to the public, it celebrates an archaeological record that encompasses approximately 5,000 years of Florida history. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is also accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information visit www.selby.org.