Scottsdale Independent

Dinner on the Desert event supports Desert Botanical Garden

Diana and Paul Smith, and Nancy Swanson.
Bennett and Jacquie Dorrance.
Jeffrey and Tahnia McKeever
Jonathan, Kathleen and Steve Taddie
Lisa and Bill Wilder
Marta Morando and Bill Moio
Shelley and Bill Jacoby
Shoshana Tancer and Kathy Munson
Tom and Jan Lewis


Desert Botanical Garden on April 22 hosted 600 business leaders, philanthropists, community partners and Garden friends dressed in their spring finest at the 31st annual Dinner on the Desert, the garden’s major annual fundraiser.

Chaired by Rebecca Ailes-Fine, the garden-inspired theme embraced arriving guests as they enjoyed welcoming refreshments and watched the setting sun spread magical colors over the desert garden.

The event raised $418,000 to support the mission of the Desert Botanical Garden.

The much-anticipated evening began with guests arriving at Ottosen Entry Garden to warm welcomes, Butterfly-Tini cocktails and music by Tetra String Quartet.

Guests delighted in the magnificent display of succulents and cactus framed by matchless views of the Papago Buttes, as they strolled through the Desert Terrace Garden and Jan and Tom Lewis Desert Portal on their way to the silent auction in Dorrance Hall and the chance to bid on more than 260 distinctive plants, pots and garden art, plus unusual and exciting experiences.

The Super Silent Showcase featured 23 one-of-a-kind experiences and items.

Raffle prizes included a $1,000 cash prize, Sony 1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones, a 24inch boxed yucca rigida, and a Desert Botanical Garden Patrons Circle membership.

As guests strolled to dinner, they enjoyed the music of acclaimed Native American flutist Ken Duncan.

The dramatic outdoor setting of the Garden’s new event venue, Sunset Plaza, placed guests in the shadows of the Papago Buttes. M Catering by Michael’s prepared the fresh, seasonal inspired cuisine.

After dinner guests gathered in the Ottosen Entry Garden to enjoy warm cinnamon-sugar doughnuts, petite chicken and waffle cones and a chef in action ice cream and sorbet station.

Guests danced under the stars with cover band Groove Museum (comprised of former ASU music students) and parted with their signature DOD gift card sets.

Dinner on the Desert proceeds support the Garden’s research, conservation, exhibition and environmental education programs, nurturing respect and appreciation for the Sonoran Desert.

The Garden’s commitment to the community is to advance excellence in education, research, exhibition and conservation of desert plants of the world with emphasis on the Southwestern United States.

Desert Botanical Garden is located at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway Phoenix. Visit