24th Annual Garden Party and Tour

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Categories: In Our Communities

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Donna Grabow, executive director and Alexandra Seifried, development specialist.

 For nearly three decades, Safenet Services, a domestic abuse and sexual assault shelter, has been a safe place for over 3,800 women and children in Rogers and Mayes Counties. This spring, Safenet invites the community to partner with them as they put a new spin on their longest-standing fundraiser, Garden Tour. For the first time, Safenet will host a Garden Party on Friday, May 31 in combination with the Garden Tour on Saturday, June 1. 

“We think it will be a great weekend with the theme being ‘Nurturing our gardens so survivors may blossom,’” said executive director, Donna Grabow.

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Grabow has been with Safenet Services since the beginning in 1990. At that time, there were 12 beds and a crisis line, and she was the only paid staff member. Today, Safenet’s Services have expanded to include a 35-bed domestic abuse shelter, counseling and advocacy, support and parenting groups, protective order assistance, financial empowerment and supervised visitation. In 2018, they provided more than 8,500 safe nights for 186 victims and their families.

“Statistics say 1 in 4 women will be affected by domestic violence; that’s someone that you know,” Development Specialist, Alexandra Seifried said. “When I first started here, I was amazed at the level of community support Safenet has. We have been embraced by the community and they realize just how important the mission is.”

The weekend will kick off Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. with a Garden Party and Flower Show at the Will Rogers Memorial. There will be drinks and hors d’oeuvres in addition to a Garden Party hat parade. Safenet is still accepting entries from individuals and businesses who are interested in submitting an arrangement. The flower show entries include live, silk, or dried arrangements. All flower show entries will be included in a silent auction, too.

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The Garden Tour is the next day, Saturday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is a self-guided tour of several Claremore residential gardens and yards, as well as the Master Gardeners Teaching Garden at Will Rogers Park. “We’ve partnered with Master Gardeners again for this year’s tour, and they help homeowners prepare for their garden to be on the tour by identifying plants and labeling them,” Seifried said.

Each Garden Tour stop will have a booth with themed items for sale. Some of the booths are Garden Gems (jewelry), Garden Treasures (yard accessories) or Garden Goodies (baked goods). The jewelry and yard accessories are contributed from Safenet’s resale shop, Second Impressions.

“The fundraiser impacts the women and children in our shelter in tangible ways. For example, it helps transport a mom to additional job training so she can earn above minimum wage and be financially independent, which is really important for them not to go back to an abusive situation. Any donation stays here in Rogers and Mayes counties, so your financial support helps people right here in our community,” said Seifried.

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This year, a $15 ticket includes both or either event and will go on sale May 24th at Safenet and the Pixley Lumber Carpet Department. For more information, visit safenetservices.org/events. All proceeds from the weekend will benefit Safenet Services. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence and sexual assault, contact Safenet at

“There’s a way to be healthy in your relationship. If it’s not healthy, get help,” Grabow said.

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