On Thursday, June 9th, over 130 guests gathered at Deer Park Manor to enjoy the 17th annual Edible Lotus Benefit Event — thank you all so much for spending a beautiful evening with Lotus and for your generosity in support of the Lotus mission!  With your help, the event raised over $26,000 towards Lotus programming. Your participation truly brings the world to our community and makes it possible for Lotus to continue to create powerful human connections through art that transcend geography, religion, language and skin color — connections that are needed now more than ever.

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We’d like to offer a special round of applause for the delicious food and drink provided by local restaurant sponsors:  Big Red Liquors, Bloomingfoods, Bloomington Brewing Company, BLU Boy Chocolates, Cardinal Spirits, Chocolate Moose, Crazy Horse, Darn Good Soup, Finch’s Brasserie, Hopscotch Coffee, Indiana Memorial Union Catering, The Irish Lion, Juannita’s Restaurant, Lennie’s, LuckyGuy Bakery, Malibu Grill, Muddy Fork Farm & Bakery, One World Catering, Piccoli Dolci, Samira’s Restaurant, The Trojan Horse, Upland Brewing Company, and Uptown Café

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Thank you also to all of the local artists, businesses, and organizations who generously donated items for the silent and live auctions:  Actors Theatre of Louisville, Ann Schertz Photography, Anne Hazeltine, Argentum Jewelry, Bloomington Convention Center, Bloomington Playwrights Project, Butler Winery & Vineyards, Candice Foss, Christy Wiesenhahn, Cincinnati Reds, Cynthia Moriarty Catering, Deb Hutton, French Lick Resort, George Malacinski and Kirstine Lindemann, Hoosier Heights, Indianapolis Museum of Arts, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Zoo, JL Waters, Jo Burgess, Kip May Photography, Lake Monroe Boat Rental, INC, Loren Wood Builders, Members of the Lotus Board, Mlostphoto, Moda Industria, NOCO, Relish, Sandi Clark, Sarah Noggle, Scott Walters, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Bloomington, Tamara Loewenthal, Textillery Weavers, The Book Corner, Tim Terry, Tom Duffy Photography, Touchstone Yoga & Massage, and Yarns Unlimited

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Emcee Annie Corrigan was an expert at the mic, rallying the crowd throughout the evening with the assistance of multi-talented jester Aaron Comforty.  Drummer Seydou Kone thrilled with the sounds of Mali, accompanied by his son Sadio and friends Bryan and Ana.  Sincere appreciation also goes to Michael and Joseph Fitzgerald for the donation of the lovely Deer Park Manor venue, as well as to the Deer Park staff; audio engineering assistance was generously provided by our friends at Airtime Studios.

And finally, we’d like to offer our undying gratitude to all of the Lotus volunteers who labored behind the scenes before, during, and after the event — thank you for lending your considerable time and talents  to bring Edible Lotus to life!

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(All photos by Grace Newlin, 2016.)