Not Your Garden Variety Festival: Providing Fertile Ground for Fundraising

Sep. 23, 2012
The Garden Factory Fall Family Fun Days kick-off event benefits Golisano Children’s Hospital

With turbo tubs, a ferris wheel, a rapid slide, a bounce house and more, The Garden Factory Fall Family Fun Days kick-off event, the prelude to a month of exciting weekends in October, will have all the hallmarks of a county fair. But aside from its many attractions, the kick-off event serves as a testament to the power of support from friends and loved ones, both in times of trouble and in trying to give back to the community.

In March 2011, the Davern family was blindsided by news that something was wrong with their newborn baby boy. Brady was born at Highland Hospital, with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia; a hole formed in his diaphragm, the muscle which helps us breathe. This hole allowed Brady’s organs to drift into his chest cavity, crushing his lungs and heart and hindering their growth.

“It was the start of a roller coaster ride,” said Jim Davern, Brady’s father. “You never realize what an asset the children’s hospital is until you need it the most.” Shortly after he was born, Brady was rushed to Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center for emergency surgery. Brady then spent 22 days recovering in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

The support they received during that difficult time inspired the Daverns to work towards raising money and awareness for the hospital. “We like to think that this happened to us because we’re in a position to give back and make a difference,” Jim said.

Moved by Brady’s inspirational recovery, the owners of The Garden Factory, longstanding friends of Jim and customers of Jim’s company, Beck’s Garden Supplies, will donate proceeds from the kick-off event for this year’s Fall Family Fun Days to Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“We have a large connection with The Garden Factory and they wanted to do anything they could to help support us. The fundraiser was just a natural fit.”

The Garden Factory Family Fun Days kick-off event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, and Sunday, Sept. 30. In addition to rides, games, arts and crafts, Mini Arks Animals will have an educational petting zoo and face painting and balloon art from Freckles & Friends. Along with all the great attractions there will food trucks from more than a dozen vendors such as Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza, Lugia’s Ice Cream, Frozen Delights, Cheesed & Confused, To Go Potato, Sammich, Milliner’s Southern Smoke, Michelle’s Catering, and Wraps on Wheels. The standard 15 percent food truck vendor fee will be donated directly to Golisano Children’s Hospital.

The kick-off event will be at The Garden Factory, 2126 Buffalo Road, Rochester. Admission is free, and tickets for rides and games cost 50 cents each, or a book of 20 for $10. Birthday party and group rates are available.

For more information on the Family Fun Days events, visit The Garden Factory’s website at