Jack Wilke Bonsai Legacy Fund

It’s spring, and that means a time of growth for many gardens.

The Lenawee Community Foundation is helping one man’s growth vision come true with a new fund.

The Jack Wikle Bonsai Legacy Fund was established in 2021 with the Lenawee Community Foundation. Jack and several of his colleagues engaged in the art of bonsai established the fund with a mission to provide support for the care and display of the bonsai collection at the University of Hidden Lake Gardens. Michigan State at Tipton.

For over 50 years, Jack has been the creator and curator of the Bonsai collection at Hidden Lake Gardens. A highlight of this summer at Hidden Lake Gardens is the Jack Wikle Bonsai Legacy Auction and Birthday Party on July 9 – Jack’s 90th birthday. Rather than receiving gifts for his birthday, Jack gives as he always has with his time, advice, teaching and practical help to those seeking bonsai. He remained disinterested in these pursuits.

Jack does, however, have a birthday wish. He wants the bonsai collection at Hidden Lake Gardens to continue to grow and thrive.

In keeping with this wish, Jack has decided to auction his entire personal collection of bonsai trees, containers, books, magazines and other items, with 100% of the proceeds going to the continued support of the Bonsai Collection. This will be accomplished through a unique fundraising activity: a series of online auctions in June and a final hybrid live and online auction on July 9 at Hidden Lake Gardens.

There are several ways to support the fund and participate in this event:

  • Bid on items in the June online auction.
  • Attend the live auction and anniversary party on July 9. The live auction will also be simulcast in case you are unable to attend in person.
  • Donate directly to the Lenawee Community Foundation fund.

For more information on the auction and the party, visit jackwiklebonsailegacy.com.

All bidders must be registered in advance. Register now to attend the on-site auction and/or participate in the online auctions taking place in June. Free admission to Hidden Lake Gardens on July 9 is included with free registration. To register to bid, go to paybee.io/hybrid-event/jack/2. View the auction guide at: jackwiklebonsailegacy.com/?page_id=1580.

June Online Mini-Auction:

  • Library week: preview on June 6 and from June 8 to 10.
  • Container week: preview on June 13 and from June 15 to 17.
  • Tree Week Live: Preview June 20 and June 22-24.
  • Other Stuff Week: Preview June 27 and June 29-July 1.

Schedule for July 9 Hidden Lake Gardens:

  • 8 a.m., doors open.
  • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., silent auction.
  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., live/online auction.
  • 4-6 p.m. Birthday Party, hosted by the Ann Arbor Bonsai Society.

Jack Wikle created quite a legacy. Its impact will last now and forever. Additional information about the Lenawee Community Foundation, how you too can leave a legacy, or any of its programs or services can be acquired by calling 517-263-4696.

Lisa Hart is an active community volunteer in our community and has taken on a leadership role with the Jack Wikle Bonsai Legacy Fund.

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