FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michael Hoke, Director
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
Shangri La Honors Fallen Soldiers with Memorial Day Ceremony, May 28
ORANGE, Texas, May 15, 2012 – Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center will host a Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 28, 2012. Those wishing to attend the ceremony will be given free entry starting at 2:00 p.m. with the ceremony beginning at 2:45 p.m. To explore the Gardens either before or after the event, an admission ticket must be purchased. Visitors are encouraged to bring folding chairs for seating during the ceremony. Shangri La will be open throughout Memorial Day from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. for visitors of all ages.
The program will start with a welcoming speech from Michael Hoke, Director of Shangri La, followed by the recognition of veterans. Glen Dutton will make a short presentation and deliver a Memorial Day prayer. Dutton is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force and has served at the Southeast Texas Veterans Service Group for 13 years. During the program, Robert and Michelle Hoke, son and daughter-in-law of Michael Hoke, will sing the National Anthem and patriotic songs. Robert Hoke is currently a law student at Louisiana State University, where he was a member of the cappella choir for three years. Michelle is currently a teacher at Baptist Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and has sung the National Anthem at several sporting events and high-capacity venues, as well as other venues for non-profit organizations. The ceremony will conclude with a ringing of the Great Bell at Shangri La, one minute of silence in remembrance of those who gave their lives for their country and TAPS played by Rebecca Kent. Kent is a graduate of Lamar University and has performed at numerous Memorial Day ceremonies.
“As we reflect on the sacrifice members of our military have made, the serenity of the gardens provides a place of solace for all to honor the ultimate commitment our military men and women have made for our country. All are invited to honor our fallen soldiers at Shangri La on Memorial Day,” said Shangri La Director, Michael Hoke.
Located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, Shangri La is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 409.670.9113 or visit www.shangrilagardens.org.
Ringing of the Great Bell will conclude the Memorial Day Ceremony at Shangri La.
For larger or hi-resolution images, contact Amanda Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
Nestled within 252 acres in the heart of Orange, Texas, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a program of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas and encourage and assist education. The unique ecosystem of Shangri La presents an ideal opportunity to further that mission as well as carry on the vision of H.J. Lutcher Stark, the man who originally developed the gardens more than 60 years ago.
Amid nature’s pristine ecosystems, the formal gardens at Shangri La reflect a use of more than 300 plant species to paint beautiful landscapes among a series of theme-based garden rooms. Around every corner a new vista awaits the visitor with exquisite sculptures, a great lawn, serene waterscapes reflecting beautiful colors and a Cypress Gate framing blooming plants and soaring birds. The Nature Center includes Adams Bayou excursions to educational outposts, a 15-acre Beaver Pond, a state-of-the-art bird blind, a bat house, and more up-close encounters with nature.
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the first project in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Platinum Certification for LEED®-NC, which verifies that the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures. Shangri La was also named by the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment as one of the top 10 green projects throughout the world.
Shangri La offers a glimpse of how people can live in harmony with nature, as it strives in its mission to Mentor Children of All Ages to Be Kind to Their World.
Other programs of the Stark Foundation include the Stark Museum of Art, The W.H. Stark House and the Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts.