Dinner on the Desert fundraiser raises $450,000 for cacti preservation

On Saturday, April 28 more than 600 philanthropists, community leaders, Desert Botanical Garden donors and members gathered for the 32nd Annual Dinner on the Desert — Desert Botanical Garden’s major annual fundraiser.

Funds raised totaled $450,000 to be used to support Sonoran Desert field trips for students, care for the garden’s world-class plant collection and the important conservation efforts of field botanists, according to a press release.

This year’s chairs Kathleen and Steve Taddie of Town of Paradise Valley welcomed guests into the Ottosen Entry Garden with cocktails and music by Ruthie Wilde and Sipho Mabingani.

The Taddie’s personally and through their business, Stellar Capital Management, has been engaged with Desert Botanical Garden for more than 10 years. Their vision for this year’s gala is “A Garden Full of Stars.” The concept centers around how beautiful the starry night sky is in the garden, and how everyone who attends and supports the garden are the “real” stars, the press release stated.

During the event, guests strolled through the garden to the silent auction in Dorrance Hall and could bid on more than 240 distinctive plants, pots and garden art, as well as unique and exciting experiences.

The Super Silent Showcase featured 32 exciting one-of-a-kind experiences, designer décor and benches, art and sculpture and fine dining.

Guests dined in Stardust Foundation Plaza and on Ullman Terrace, and Hyatt/Copper Square Kitchen provided catering with music by pianist Nick Manson.

After dinner guests gathered in the Ottosen Entry Garden to enjoy the stars up-close and personal with Phoenix Astronomical Society. Guests danced under the stars with a performance by garden favorite, Traveler, the press release stated.

Money raised from the event will directly benefit the garden’s work to protect cactuses, one of the most threatened groups of living organisms. The garden is committed to advancing excellence in education, research, exhibition and conservation of desert plants of the world with emphasis on the Southwestern United States.

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