“We both felt that this site was irreplaceable; an oasis of incredible beauty at our doorstep.”

One of the first things visitors see when entering Marin Art and Garden Center is the Giant Sequoia tree stretching proudly towards the sky. Brought from the Yosemite Valley in the 1880’s, it has overseen and been an integral part of every celebration that has taken place on the property. Just below it is something even more spectacular – the commemorative bench of Virginia “Ginger” Egan. 

Dave Egan has lived in Marin County since 1963. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, he went to college in Northern California before serving five years of active duty in the United States Air Force. After the military, he expanded his horizons by becoming a stockbroker in San Francisco. With a mind for numbers and appreciation for the stunning architecture of the region, he then decided to make a career move into real estate. He became a Marin County realtor in 1976. Twenty years later, he married Ginger, and his life changed forever.

Dave first learned about Marin Art and Garden Center when he was decorating his office at Larkspur Landing. The organization was known as a reliable source for art from established and up-and-coming bay area creators. It was the ideal way to rent paintings and beautify his business. 

Ginger became a volunteer for the property’s Laurel House. She selflessly devoted 25 years to the shop and shared countless smiles with the people who came through. “She loved every minute,” Dave recalls. “We both felt that this site was irreplaceable; an oasis of incredible beauty at our doorstep.” 

Dave and Ginger traveled all over the world together. Whether sailing around islands, cycling through France, road tripping through Spain, exploring the Galapagos Islands, or on a tent safari in Tanzania, they continually exposed themselves to new cultures and remained immersed in adventure. When they returned to Marin, they shared their stories with visitors at the Laurel House and fellow community members at the many events they attended at Marin Art and Garden Center. Their welcoming nature, warmth, and friendliness was felt by everyone they encountered. 

“Ginger and I enjoyed concerts on-the-green, plays at the Barn and Porchlight Theater, picnics by the fountain, the rose garden, and many events at the Livermore Room and lawn area. There have been so many heartwarming days at Marin Art and Garden Center with our extended family and friends that it would be hard to pick the best,” he says. “I would encourage anyone to visit and be shown around by someone familiar with it. There is history to learn and treasures to be found.”

After Ginger was diagnosed with ALS, traveling became much more challenging, but she and Dave still found ways to make it to the Fountain Pond, which was one of her favorite spots in the garden. The night before she passed away, Dave saw a tear in Ginger’s eye when he told her he would take her to the garden the next day. Sadly, she did not make it through the night, but Dave was still determined to fulfill his promise. He spoke with Marin Art and Garden Center and arranged a beautiful, inspiring Celebration of Life right by the Fountain Pond. Everyone was welcome.

Further motivated to honor the memories they created and to keep Ginger’s legacy at Marin Art and Garden Center alive, Dave picked one of the most captivating spots in the garden and sponsored a commemorative bench in her name. 

“I think, for me, the day our family gathered at the bench to give it a proper christening with champagne would be near the top of my best memories at the garden,” he says. “Ginger would have loved it.”

Even now, Dave returns to the garden regularly on his bike or by foot to take extra good care of Ginger’s bench. His devotion grows stronger every day, like the mighty sequoia above it. On the rare days when he can’t visit, the Garden team and staff keep a special eye on it, as well. Together, everyone works towards one common goal — to ensure that Ginger’s love continues to light the garden, always. 

More to explore

IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at tod.thorpe@maringarden.org to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center