The 2012 STEMS: A Garden Soiree attracted more than 1,650 attendees. Hosted by the Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park, STEMS has raised $1.1 million over a five-year period. The annual event supports the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead and public art and programs in Overland Park. The June event featured food from 18 restaurants and caterers, music by David Basse Orchestra and Funk Syndicate and artistic delights from 109 Stems Plein Air painters and the KC Woodturner’s. Steve and Wanda Wilkinson were honorary chairs, Ken and Nancy Mellard and Rich and Marga Spangler were co-chairs. Proceeds from previous STEMS events has helped fund the Cohen Iris Garden and the Train Garden at the Arboretum; Alex & Emily’s Ice Cream Parlor and Vic’s General Store at the Farmstead; Pod Forms at Tomahawk Ridge Community Center, Soaring Boy at Roe Park and Blackbird at the Overland Park City Hall. Photos courtesy of Susan Yates.