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Bettine Clemen will return for benefit concert Nov. 27

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Bettine Clemen, known to some as the “Pied Piper of the Planet” because of her interaction with children and animals through her music, will perform a Friends of the Garden benefit concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park.

Bettine Clemen with one of her many flutes.

Bettine Clemen with one of her many flutes.

Tickets for the multi-media concert may be purchased at the door for $20 (adults) and $10 (students and children), cash or checks only. Doors to the meeting room open at 2:30 p.m. “There will be something at this concert for everyone with a wide variety of musical expression,” says Peter Longley, horticultural interpreter at the Botanical Center.

The concert benefits the construction of a three-acre Sensory Garden in the Springfield Botanical Gardens. Groundbreaking is scheduled yet this year. The Sensory Garden will include raised beds labeled in Braille, an indoor/outdoor kitchen classroom, water features, chimes and special areas to inform sight, sound, fragrance and touch within therapy gardens. The Sensory Garden will join the 20 themed gardens, 15 special collections and five naturalized areas that make up the Springfield Botanical Gardens.

Clemen, who has performed all over the world in some of the world’s greatest halls such as the Lincoln Center in New York City and the Royal Albert Hall in London, has previously donated her time and talent three times in Springfield to help raise funds to make the Sensory Garden a reality. “It is fitting that now that we will be breaking ground on this massive project, we are holding this fourth concert through Bettine’s generosity,” said Longley.

“We are grateful to Bettine for her enthusiasm and help with the Sensory Garden,” said Lisa Bakerink, executive director of the Friends of the Garden. “The friends she’s made here during her performances always look forward to visiting with her.”

Other events during Thanksgiving Sunday at the Botanical Center include a holiday miniature railway set up in the atrium by the Ozarks Garden Railway Society and holiday shopping at the Botanical Boutique Gift Shop. Members of the Friends of the Garden receive a 10 per cent discount on the tax-free garden-related merchandise.

Friends of the Garden tax-deductible annual memberships on several levels can be purchased at the gift shop. For more information, visit Friends of the Garden.org or Facebook at FriendsoftheGarden/events.

The new Sensory Garden will add to the many attractions at the 112-acre Springfield-Greene County Park Board-operated park in southwest Springfield. The Botanical Center staff and the volunteer members of the Master Gardeners of Greene County, Friends of the Garden and other nonprofit organizations, create and maintain the Springfield Botanical Gardens, a popular destination for area residents and tourists.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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