"The first year we raised $5,000," said Cordelia Mendoza, event coordinator and Dana Unit member . "Last year we donated $15,000."
Money raised by the walk goes toward the most needy at the hospital.
"More than 50 percent of the kids in the unit have no medical insurance," Mendoza said. "They depend upon philanthropic gifts."
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the garden tour benefit the children directly. The unit will then give the auxiliary a list of exactly what the donations purchased each year. Mendoza reported that last year's donations went toward assisting with patient visits, as well as plastic surgery and microsurgical instruments.
"The garden walk is a happy, fun event," Mendoza said. "All the gardens are wonderful. Some are professionally landscaped and others are the work of enthusiastic homeowners."
Many of the homes are of historical significance to the area. According to Mendoza, some were built in the early 1900s. A few have been historically designated, including a 1912 Arts & Crafts home and a Prairie House, circa 1915, which is also host to the Garden Boutique, featuring items for purchase, such as garden art, unique faerie garden planters, plants, topiaries, bird houses and other handcrafted items. In addition to the garden tour, three locations are also offering home tours.
The walk, which boasts attendance of 500 to 700 altruistic garden enthusiasts, is the result of a lot of hard work by the Dana Unit's 40 members.
"It's a cohesive group. Everybody pitches in," Mendoza said. She added that the group's family and friends get involved as well. "It's really quite magical."
Advance tickets are $15 and are available at Walter Andersen Nursery, 3642 Enterprise St.; Mission Hills Nursery, 1525 Fort Stockton Dr; and Cottage Antiques, 4896 Newport Ave. in Ocean Beach. Tickets are $18 the day of the event. The tour begins at 3143 Ibsen St., off of Rosecrans Street. For more information, call Cordelia Mendoza at (619) 518-8663 or (619) 225-8852.