Morris Arboretum Announces 2023 Honorees For Annual Moonlight & Roses Gala

The  42nd gala will be held Friday, June 2, 2023, 6 pm

Morris Arboretum will celebrate its 42nd Moonlight & Roses gala in 2023 with honorees Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo, executive director and CEO of the community service organization ACLAMO, and the Make the World Better Foundation, founded in 2013 by former Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker and current director of player development Connor Barwin. Jimenez-Arevalo and MTWB will be honored at the annual fundraising gala on Friday, June 2, 2023, 6 pm at Morris Arboretum. For more information, visit

The gala, held in the Arboretum’s stunning Rose Garden, directly supports the Morris Arboretum’s work as a

renowned public botanic garden and as a center for plant-science research and educational programming for all ages. Chairing the 2023 event is Allison DeCaro, vice president of Johnson, Kendall and Johnson’s Private Client Group.

VIP tickets for the 2023 gala will go on sale in February, and formal invitations will be mailed in April. If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at


Meet the 2023 Honorees

Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo

ACLAMO is a nonprofit community service organization that provides educational programs, social services, and access to health and wellness programs to Latinos and other community members. Nelly Jimenez-Arevalo’s vibrant leadership, dedication to the ACLAMO community, and her passion for the natural world made her an ideal partner in establishing one of the Arboretum’s signature youth outreach programs, ¡Explorar! A Summer Bridge Program. First established in 2016 and based at the Arboretum, ¡Explorar! integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM) to motivate and inspire young learners from the ACLAMO’s STEAM educational program. Jimenez-Arevalo has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the 2020 Exceptional Woman Award for her work surrounding social justice and the pursuit to eliminate racism and empower women, and the 2022 POWER 100 Who’s Who in Latino Pennsylvania. Jimenez-Arevalo holds a degree in law from Santa Maria University, Venezuela.


Make the World Better

Founded in 2013 by Connor Barwin during his first season playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, Make the World Better (MTWB) believes that communities prosper when all people have access to high-quality public spaces that provide safe outlets for recreation, sports, and arts-based activities. To this end, MTWB works with communities to connect people and inspire stewardship through the revitalization of public spaces. Led by Executive Director Jesse Rendell, MTWB uses a participatory design process that engages residents in all phases of a project, creating a sense of ownership over public spaces and fostering local leadership that endures after construction is completed. The organization has completed three park revitalization projects in Philadelphia, including Ralph Brooks Park (Point Breeze), Smith Playground (West Passyunk), and Waterloo Playground (Kensington), with a fourth project under construction at Vare Recreation Center (Grays Ferry).

For more information, email Kristen Casalenuovo at or call 215.247.5777 x 418.

The Morris Arboretum is one of more than 30 Philadelphia gardens in America’s Garden Capital. This 92-acre horticultural display garden features a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. The Morris Arboretum offers educational programs for many audiences ranging from youth to professional and is a leader in botanical and horticultural research.


100 E Northwestern Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19118  | 215.247.5777  |