Ballfest Arizona 2020

Supporters of Ballsfest gathered March 15 at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley to honor six bright, talented, courageous child cancer survivors. Known as Ballsfest Arizona, the third annual charity event was hosted by Ballsfest, a growing Arizona-based nonprofit organization that provides children and young adults battling cancer with personalized gifts and experiences. The organization was founded by testicular cancer survivor Frank DeBlasi.

Through his relationships with local hospitals, including Phoenix Children’s, Banner Cardon Children’s and Banner Thunderbird, DeBlasi works with the hospitals’ Child Life Teams to identify prospective beneficiaries. He calls them “Ballers” rather than patients, and he takes time from his job as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch to meet with each, along with their families, at least twice before he determines their gift. DeBlasi and his team create a memorable show at each Ballsfest event, with the Ballers as the stars.

Ballsfest Arizona 2020 concluded just one hour before Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ordered events of 50 or more to be canceled due to Covid-19. Despite the stressful time, more than 100 guests attended the March 15 event, where they enjoyed live music, a custom slider bar and an ice cream sundae station, in addition to an open bar.

The highlight of the afternoon was the Baller Ceremony. Held on the Mountain Shadows Lawn with Camelback Mountain as the backdrop, the ceremony was emceed by Vanessa Ramirez, television anchor and Arizona Diamondbacks in-game host. Six Ballers were individually recognized on stage, shared their stories and were presented with gifts.


Dr. Chris and Tiffany Speikerman, Chris and Kristin Ulrich, Shelly and Brett Brimley

Ballsfest Champions join Frank DeBlasi and Ballsfest team members on stage

Ballsfest Champion and Manor Owner Jeremy Davis joins Frank DeBlasi on stage to present a new Ballsfest hat, a tribute to 2018 Arizona Baller George Rivera who passed away in December 2019

Frank DeBlasi roasts Oliviah Hill on the Baller Throne before revealing her gift, a new custom playhouse

Ballsfest Champion Jane D’Amelio from Right Toyota/Honda joins Angel Aguilar, Odin, Samantha Preston and Frank DeBlasi for a photo after revealing Samantha’s gift, a four-day vacation at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego

Sponsors Jeff and Tara Marcussen join Asthon Gundlach and Frank DeBlasi for a photo after revealing Ashton’s gift, brand new state-of-the-art equipment to create his own podcast

Maicel Burnette joins Frank DeBlasi for a photo after revealing Maicel’s gift, an Apple Package

Back: Lexi Wright and her high-school sweetheart, 2020 Arizona Baller Nolan Hynes, are joined by their Ballership Sponsors, Monica Monson, Ginger Van Patten and Barry Van Patten. Front: Michelle Sarocka and Stacey Kretchmer, from Sotheby’s Monson Luxury Group, with Frank DeBlasi, after Nolan received his gift, free tuition for his final two years at GCU and an internship with the Monson Luxury Group

Evening to Paws

Arizona Animal Welfare League’s annual An Evening to Paws: Mutt Gala on March 7 at the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia was a record-breaking night for the state’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. With the help of a generous anonymous donor who matched donations up to $100,000, the evening raised $415,000. Money from the event will benefit AAWL’s Medical Miracle Fund, which covers the cost of care for the most difficult rescues who come to the shelter.

Dr. Shanti Jha, the evening’s honorary chair, was recognized on stage for utilizing his medical expertise In hundreds of these difficult cases over the years. The surgeon, who works for Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, not only uses his time for severely complicated procedures, but also has paid out-of-pocket for resources, such as a titanium rod that enabled a dog to walk without pain.

Jha was reunited with many of the adopted dogs he has helped through the Medical Miracle Fund. To show off their new “leash on life,” dogs who have survived extreme medical needs walked across the event stage in bespoke outfits created by Ivan Lugo, owner of Lugari Pet Salon in Scottsdale. Each outfit was personally crafted for the dog and then sold for donations to AAWL.


Jamie and Steve Windogrand

Mary Lee Whiner and Dennis Rank

Dr. Chloe Charlton, Alexis Pinkston, Dr. Maureen Jay, Dr. Karen Brophy, Dr. Sarah Sterling, Dr. Jeff Skaggs, Elisha Dillon, Dr. Shanti Jha, Dr. Carmen Yeamans McGee, Dr. Patrick Hennigan and Natalie Rose

Dr. Suny Portalatin, William Oglesby, Marcus Brown, Benny Moffett, Brandi Reinauer, Natalie McClelland, Wynn Burton, Danielle Miller, Pauline Wynn-Miller, Kimberly Dougherty and Jordan Erhardt

Emcee Kristy Siefkin, volunteer Amy Offenberg and Smith

Emcee Kristy Siefkin, Arlene Chee and Loofah

4th Annual Experience Matters Luncheon

Former Arizona governor (2003–2009), Secretary of Homeland Security and University of California President Janet Napolitano received the Change Maker Award at the fourth annual Experience Matters Luncheon on March 6 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn and Spa. The award recognizes an individual who has made a major impact on the community and the state of Arizona.

Project C.U.R.E., a Tempe-based volunteer-driven nonprofit that delivers 40-foot containers of donated medical supplies to countries around the world, received the organization’s Encore Impact Award.

The former governor also delivered the keynote. Following her remarks, Arizona Congressman Greg Stanton moderated a question-and-answer session.

The event was hosted by CBS5 anchor Sean McLaughlin. Marion Rhoades chaired the luncheon, which raised $133,000 for Experience Matters.


Arizona Congressman Greg Stanton moderates a question-and-answer session with Janet Napolitano

Laurie Buczek, Wendy Cohen and Nora Hannah, former Experience Matters CEO

Wendy Cohen and Travis Gibson, Project C.U.R.E. director of operations, who accepted the Encore Impact Award on behalf of the organization

Marion Rhoades, Gail Knight, Clayton Hopkins, Janet Napolitano, Wendy Cohen, Nancy Stern, Maria Hesse and Laurie Buczek

Phoenix Art Museum Hosts ‘India: Fashion’s Muse’ Opening

Phoenix Art Museum and Arizona Costume Institute hosted an exclusive opening of India: Fashion’s Muse on Feb. 28. Featuring more than 50 ensembles and an array of accessories and ephemera, the exhibition explores India’s influence on more than 200 years of Western fashion, along with works by contemporary Indian designers.

Opening night of India: Fashion’s Muse

Guests enjoyed complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, a sari-draping demonstration, live musical performances and an opportunity to discuss the exhibition with Helen Jean, the Museum’s interim Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design. The Museum and Arizona Costume Institute also welcomed local philanthropist Micheline Etkin, who was dressed couture by contemporary Indian designer Anamika Khanna.


Seema Gulati entertains

Curator of Asian Art Dr. Janet Baker; Lance Schley and Ruby Farias

Kathie May, Arizona Costume Institute board president; Gene and Rita Van Sickle

Christy Vezolles

Angela Johnson and Ryan Sarlos Johnson; Ed and Laura Madden

Dr. Hong Ong and Doris Ong

Guests enjoy first look at the exhibition

7th Annual Broadway Ball

Arizona Broadway Theatre’s seventh annual , themed “Raising the Stars of Tomorrow,” brought 300-plus attendees to the theater Feb. 29. The gala raised more than $140,000 in support of ABT’s artistic and educational programs.

Festivities included a live auction featuring a Viking River Cruise, Sedona “Cool Down” summer getaway, an exclusive in-home dinner for eight featuring ABT’s culinary and service team, a silent auction, the all-new “Bubbles & Barrels” sparkling wine and whiskey tasting experience, “Gift Card Frenzy” and a wine pull.

Susan Casper, host of ABC14’s Sonoran Living, co-emceed the evening with Brad York, ABT’s director of marketing and development. The pair used an interview-style format with Kiel and Cassandra Klaphake, ABT co-founders and executive and artistic producers, as well as Kurtis Overby, associate artistic director. Their conversation gave Broadway Ball attendees an insider’s look at the theater’s mission, vision, educational plans and goal; artistic success stories; and its influence and impact on Arizona and the national stage.

The cast of La Cage aux Folles (through March 22) kicked off the program portion of the evening with a performance of the show’s opening number. The evening wrapped up with Tiffany Sparks and Liz Fallon, leads in Chicago, ABT’s next Mainstage offering (through April 19), performing “Nowadays” and “Hot Honey Rag” from the show.

ABT’s teen performance troupe, HyRev, performed high-energy renditions of “Cross the Line” from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Bring It On and “A Million Dreams” from the film The Greatest Showman. HyRev also presented a version of Aerosmith’s “Dream On. The teens will benefit from the $16,000 raised for scholarships to help defray the cost of employing the youth in the Mainstage shows for which they will audition and be cast.


The 7th Annual Arizona Broadway Theatre Broadway Ball

Brad York, ABT director of marketing development; Kiel Klaphake , executive producer; Cassandra Klaphake, artistic producer; and Kurtis Overby, associate artistic director

Dennis Carlat and City of Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat

CIty of Peoria Vice Mayor Michael Finn and Bridget Binsbacher, councilwoman

Kiel Klaphake, ABT executive producer; Cassandra Klaphake, artistic producer; Brad York, director of marketing and development; Susan Casper, host of ABC15’s Sonoran Living and her husband, Sidney

Warren Huebner, ABT board member, and his wife, Dolores

Jamie Boscardin, Broadway Ball committee co-chair, and her husband, Steve

Brenda Edwards and Jim Edwards, City of Peoria councilman

Big Night Out Gala

On Feb. 21 at the Arizona Biltmore, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona celebrated its 65th anniversary with the Big Night Out Gala. More than 700 guests attended the event, raising $350,000-plus.

Attendees were treated to a hosted reception courtesy of Tito’s Handmade Vodka. During the cocktail hour, mystery boxes that included items such as a roundtrip airfare on JetBlue were available for purchase. A raffle included a sapphire ring from Molina Fine Jewelers and a ride-along with Sheriff Paul Penzone.

The evening honored Leslie’s Pool Supplies with the Chairman’s Award, Dr. Christine Wilkinson with the Community Impact Award, AAA Cares with the Enterprise Award and Howard Nute with the Common Good Award.

The program featured Bigs and Littles presenting awards and sharing individual impact stories. Each Big and Little “Match” story spoke to the power of mentorship and showed how mentors ignite potential in the lives of their mentees. An after-party features Rico DeLargo, dancing and dessert stations.

Oscar De las salas and Gary Jackson, and Veronica and Paul Penzone co-chaired the event, with Nicole and Greg Stanton as honorary chairs. Paul Horton, CBS 5 chief meteorologist, served as emcee. The Arizona Cardinals and CopperPoint Insurance Companies were the main sponsors.


Big Sister Bridget O’Toole and Little Sister Alicia opening their mystery box

Matt Manoogian, Natalie Emery, Mark McIntyre, Vikki Colvin, Maria Lindsley and Greg Lindsley

Oscar De las Salas, Gary Jackson, Nicole Stanton, Representative Greg Stanton and Rico DeLargo

Guests in the ballroom

Laura Capello, BBBSCA president and CEO, and Tom Julian; Little Brother Jesus speaks to the power of mentorship

Sarah and Paul Evans; Teresa and Casey Strunk

Susan Hwang and Todd Koishigawa

Suzy Stein, Fernando Perez, Oscar De las salas and Rico DeLargo

A Night in Morocco

Colorful caftans and alluring entertainment created a memorable evening for “A Night in Morocco,” Child Crisis Arizona’s annual fundraising gala on Feb. 29 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort. The 500 guests helped raise $600,000 for the agency’s early education, prevention and intervention programs to help end the cycle of child abuse and neglect.

A paddle raise focused on funding safe nights of sleep for children in crisis situations. Enough funding was raised to provide more than 2,000 nights of safe sleep for a child.

Honorary co-chairs Tracy and Louis Basile received the inaugural Legacy of Love Award for more than a decade of service to the agency. The presenting sponsors were Isaac Jewelers and Jiffy Lube.


Tracy and Louis Basile (right) with their children

Karilee Ramaley and Nina Mullins

Belly dancer; Larry Wilk, board chair Child Crisis Arizona 

Scotty Miller and Child Crisis Board member Noelle Miller; Roger Hill and Yvonne Debeauville

The dining tables

Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars

Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley – Metro Phoenix honored Robert Sarver and the Phoenix Suns with the Heart of a Champion Award at the annual Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars gala. The event was held Feb. 22 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa and recognized 12 outstanding Club teens as “Youth of the Year,” each representing a separate Club. The young people have overcome incredible obstacles and shared their inspirational stories during the evening. Samia Ruiz, a senior at Cesar Chavez High School, was announced as 2020 Youth of the Year.

In addition, the 750 guests enjoyed a large silent auction and an animated live auction. More than $2 million was raised, with proceeds exclusively benefiting local Club programs.

The dinner program was created by Michael Barnard, producing artistic director of The Phoenix Theatre Company. National television personality Jesse LeBeau served as emcee for the evening.


Pat Ray with Youth of the Year

Jim and Kim Stabilito with Youth of the Year

Malcolm and Pearle Marr with Youth of the Year

Jim and Alice Bazlen

Jody and Nick Sarchett

Robert Sarver receives Heart of a Champion Award

Clarissa Cerda and and her husband, Les Klein

Lori and Russ Scaramella

Chris and Kim McWaters

One Injustice is One Too Many

Arizona Justice Project hosted its third annual One Injustice is One Too Many event on Feb. 22 at the Heard Museum. The 350 guests at the dinner raised $130,000 to support its work in seeking justice for those who are innocent and wrongfully imprisoned.

The evening included food stations prepared by Arizona Taste Catering, a raffle and silent auction, and live music by Quinn Jolly the band.

During the presentation, Randy Papetti, partner with Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, was awarded the One Injustice Award. For 25 years, Papetti has practiced commercial litigation and trial work at the firm. On a pro bono basis, he writes, speaks, handles cases and consults on matters involving the medio-legal diagnosis of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The riveting program featured a keynote address by Ray Krone, an exoneree and co-founder of Witness to Innocence, an organization comprising death row exonerees devoted to improving the criminal justice system and supporting each other. Krone spent nearly 11 years in prison for a homicide he did not commit, including two years on death row in Arizona. He was the 100th person who served time on death row to later be exonerated. He now resides in Tennessee.

Douglas Wilkey and Christina Dougherty co-chaired the event. The Champion Sponsor for the evening was Osborn Maledon.


Arizona exoneree Drayton Witt with Khalil Rushdan, community partnership coordinator, ACLU Arizona and Arizona Justice Project Exoneree Board member

Keith Hilzendeger, Susan Green and Jordan Green

Exoneree Louis Harper with Khalil Rushdan

Dr. Erin Kloos

Keynote speaker Ray Krone

Anne Chapman

27th Annual Beach Ball

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation held the 27th Annual Beach Ball, its signature fundraising event, Feb. 22 at the Arizona Biltmore. In its tradition, guests trade tuxedos and gowns for resort wear to raise funds for the hospital. Enjoying a tribute to the south of France vibe, guests, physicians and longtime supporters enjoyed a festive evening with a cocktail reception and dinner, raffle items, inspiring storytelling and entertainment.

Sponsors and guests raised more than $2 million to support Phoenix Children’s Hospital. A portion of proceeds raised will fund discovery and innovation at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s. During the last 27 years, Beach Ball has raised more than $22 million.

Sheila Zuieback receives the Spirit of Hope Award

Beach Ball uses the occasion to recognize an individual or group with the Dr. Herbert J. and Julie Louis “Spirit of Hope” Award. This year, local philanthropist Sheila Zuieback received the award. She is a former Leadership Circle Director and longtime member and officer of The Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. Over the years she has advocated for hospital programs about which she is passionate, including neurosciences, pastoral care and trauma-informed care.

In 2019 Zuieback launched Power Play, a collaboration between Arizona State University and Phoenix Children’s to create custom superhero costumes for 11 patients fighting for their lives. She was presented with a hand-crafted cape of her own to pay tribute to her status as “hero material” in advocating for children and families at Phoenix Children’s.

Whitney Heglie and Brooke Kopp co-chaired this year’s event.


Bob Meyer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital president and CEO, and Jon Hulburd, PCH board member

Julie Duncan and Katie-Stoll, co-chairs for the 2021 Beach Ball; Margaret Lozier and Onnalee Kelley

Carrie and Jon Hulburd; Dr. Ruth Rassel and Walt Brown

Victoria Dan Lemon; Patrick and Regina Edwards

Mike and Molly Carson; Brad Johnson and Baily Fett

Jennifer and Joseph Molone; Jay and Alexa Schneider

Oscar De las salas and Gary Jackson

Amanda and Troy Lysaghts; J.P. and Jennifer Holyoak

Evan and Katrina Kouhn; Robert and Christian Wilson

Dinner in the ballroom

Fun on the dance floor

61st Annual Phoenix Heart Ball Kicks Off

The committee for the 61st Annual Heart Ball met at Saks Fifth Avenue on Feb. 11 to kick off planning for the Nov. 21, 2020, black-tie event at the Phoenician. This year’s chairman, Jennifer Moser, announced the theme: Remembering Hearts: Past, Present and Future, with the chosen colors of red and cobalt blue with a pop of fuchsia. She also introduced her executive committee: Vice chairmen Suzanne Hilton and Maja Langbein, Heart Ball Sweetheart Char Hubble, chair-elect Amanda Garmany, and honorary chairs Jeff, Dennis and Mike Mastro.

The kickoff featured breakfast from The Herb Box and The Best of Saks Spring Fashion Show.


Allie Brenner and Charlene Berg-Blum; Lynne Love and Priscilla Nicholas

Kim Cullum and Julie DeTienne; Sherri Quinn, Lisa Shapiro and Carolyn Ross

Jeff Mastro, Jennifer Moser and Dennis Mastro

Andrea Stewart-Pritchett, Jenn Karas, Ilaria Borden, Caroline Pricher and Kelly Farrell

Caroline Conner, Brigitte Berry, McKenna Wesley and Abby Leadon

Jennifer and Brent Moser

Breakfast kickoff tables


Oscar at the Oscars Viewing Party

Valley Youth Theatre hosted its Oscar at the Oscars Viewing Party on Feb. 9 at Scottsdale Waterfront Residences. The evening included a red-carpet entry followed by a live viewing of the 2020 Academy Awards presentation. Guests—dressed in Hollywood glam—enjoyed cocktails, burgers and more, in addition to a gift bag from sponsors. Young people from VYT delighted guests with performances. The party was presented by Billie Jo Herberger. Proceeds from the occasion benefit Valley Youth Theatre.


Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Bobb Cooper, producing artistic director Valley Youth Theatre; Barney Street and Mark Keller

Karol Cooper, Catherine Lewis and Elena Hamaed

Denise and Chris Widener; Bobb Cooper and Chef Tommy D’Ambrosio

Micheline Etkin and Oscar De las salas; Dennis Ranke and Deanna Bell

Drive the Dream

More than 700 guests attended the Feb. 15 Childhelp Drive the Dream Gala at the Phoenician. The event draws a number of high-profile guests each year, and this year was no exception. Among the attendees were Dancing With the StarsMaks Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd, as well as The Bachelor’s Arie Luyendyk and Lauren Luyendyk, former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, WWE wrestler Mickie James and Seinfeld’s John O’Hurley.

A highlight of the Mary Poppins-themed evening was the presentation of the Childhelp Spirit of the Children Award to Laurie and Budd Florkiewicz. Emceed by Reba and Baby Daddy star Melissa Peterman, the gala featured performances by REO Speedwagon, Phoenix Theatre Company and Childhelp Youth Ambassador Rosevelt Rals, a 12-year-old singer from Mesa. Urban Electra performed during the cocktail hour, their attire reflecting the Mary Poppins theme. White House Design Studio carried out the theme in the dining room. Ivy Ciolli chaired the event with Dru Hammer and Jacqueline Nerguizian as co-chairs. Proceeds benefit Childhelp programs.


The dining room

Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal Hansen

Allison and Peter Gentala with Bill and Becky Montgomery

Tyler Butler, Pat Bondurant and Beth McRae


Galaxy Gala

As guests registered for Galaxy Gala, they received table assignments on large (real) tropical leaves that complemented the tropical table décor created by White House Design Studio. The Feb. 8 event at Arizona Science Center had something for each of the 450 guests—a cocktail welcome, a delicious dinner catered by M Culinary Concepts and an after-party in Heritage Square Park.

But the star of the event was Victoria, the world’s largest touring T. rex, now on exhibition at the Center. The $450,000 raised during the evening benefit the STEM learning opportunities at the Science Center. Lori Reiman, Paige Heavey and Suzanne Hensing co-chaired the event.


Table décor; Rowan and Kate Smith

Chevy Humphrey, Arizona Science Center president and CEO, with Pat and Regina Edwards

Francis and Dionne Najafi with their son Luke Najafi

Henry and Everett Estes, Dennis and Margot Knight, and Jenny Estes

Chuck Theisen, Alex Theisen, Nils Homer, Victoria Theisen-Homer and Anita Theisen

Paul Beyer and Christi Warner-Beyer with Marleen and Chuck Lowman

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego with Ella Goldfader

Sarah Suggs and Barbara Lockwood



Welcome Home Gala

Save the Family held its Welcome Home Gala on Feb. 8 at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. The 350 guests enjoyed a cocktail hour, silent and live auctions, raffle drawings, dinner, dancing and faux gambling. The program included client testimony and was emceed by Fox10’s Kristy Siefkin. The band Rock Lobster provided the entertainment.

The gala raised more than $200,000 for Save the Family’s housing, case management and support services programs.


Clare Mesnard and Jacki Taylor, Save the Family CEO

Michael McDonald and Annie Mathisen

Tina and Phil Rees

Letitia Frye

Ruth Rooney, Mike Rooney and Dustin Cammack

Fresh Brunch

The 11th Annual Fresh Brunch at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa drew 1,400 guests and raised a record-breaking $759,000 in support for the accomplishments and future growth of one•n•ten. The Feb. 9 event emphasized the theme of “visibility,” and honorary chair Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego declared February 9 LGBTQ+Visibility Day. Honorary co-chair Daniela Astorga accepted the proclamation after sharing her visibility story. In addition to food and mingling, guests enjoyed a performance by the Phoenix Metropolitan Men’s Chorus.


Jennifer Gage and Ivan Lugo

Nicole Stanton and Congressman Greg Stanton; Darlene Richert with her son Peter Buck

Kenny Ho, Brad DeBiase and Glenn Wike; Kevin Patterson with Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

The outdoor reception

Honor Ball

The 44th annual Honor Ball was held Feb. 8 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn. More than 700 attended the elegant—and fun—affair, enjoying cocktails, dinner and dancing, featuring Impulse, West Coast Music of Beverly Hills. White House Design Studio created the vibrant décor, and 3TV’s Good Morning Arizona news anchor Scott Pasmore emceed the event.

The evening, which raised more than $1.3 million, paid tribute to Jean and Curt Feuer for their relentless compassion and desire to make a difference in the Valley community and in their Massachusetts community, where they spend their summers. The Feuers have graciously supported and hosted events for The Honor Ball as well as for the HonorHealth Foundation Circle of Distinction. Curt has served as a valued member of the HonorHealth Foundation Board of Trustees for 13 years.


Dr. Chad Mehta and Chandi Mehta; Nate Prewitt and Melissa Blake

Scottsdale Mayor Jim and Lane and his wife, Joanne Lane

Savor the Symphony

The Phoenix Symphony’s unique women’s luncheon offered guests a sneak peek Feb. 7 as the Symphony, under the direction of resident conductor Matthew Kasper, and guest artist Rajaton rehearsed the music of ABBA. The 150 guests then enjoyed an Italian lunch menu prepared by Chef Gabriele Bertaccini of iL Tocco Food. Subyn Wadsworth served as the auctioneer, conducting a live auction that featured just three items. Linda “Mac” Perlich, CEO and publisher ON Media, chaired the event, which also afforded an opportunity for guests to connect with Suzanne Wilson, the Symphony’s new president and CEO.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Symphony’s B-Sharp Music Wellness, a W.O.N.D.E.R. Project that touches the lives of patients in long-term care facilities, homeless shelters and hospitals. The goal is to share the benefits of live music with vulnerable members of the community in every stage of life, which in turn reduces stress, improves brain function and promotes overall healthy well-being.


Deborah Berkley and Lois Savage

Deborah Bateman, Sue Glawe and Sharon Lechter

Jeanine Remley, Trisha Dykstra, Lisa Lavoie, Margie Burke and JoAnn Serra

Jane Jozoff and Sharon Dupont McCord

Molly DeFilippis and Adrienne Schiffner


Ballet Arizona Prima Circle Evening

Ballet Arizona hosted a Prima Circle Evening, its annual donor appreciation event on Jan. 31. More than 100 members of the Prima Circle family of donors attended the exclusive evening at Ballet Arizona. Guests mingled with dancers and other patrons over cocktails and a variety of hors d’oeuvres catered by Fabulous Food.

After the reception, Dr. Ayanna Thompson, director of the Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University, spoke on “Love in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Her presentation was followed by a sneak-peek of the A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Feb. 13–16 at Symphony Hall with The Phoenix Symphony). The performance will feature new costumes and all new scenery. The evening concluded with dessert, champagne and conversation.


Phil Cram, Kay Martens, and Joan and Charlie Berry 

Jeff and Mary Ehret

Kate Groves and Betsy Curley

Colleen and Bruce Hallberg




Dine With Your Dog

The annual Dine With Your Dog brunch on Feb. 8 at Monterra at WestWorld raised $131,000, and an additional contribution by a generous donor raised the total to more than $168,000. All proceeds benefit PetSmart Charities Paws Can Heal Animal-Assisted Therapy program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Canine cuisine for the brunch was prepared by Phoenix Children’s own Chef Spiro Andreopoulos, a seasoned chef with international experience. Human companions enjoyed a sweet and savory brunch courtesy of M Catering at Monterra, plus mimosas and Tito’s Handmade Vodka Bloody Marys. Guests had an opportunity to explore pet play areas, stroll in front of the “pup-arazzi,” chat with fellow dog lovers and bid on silent auction items.

Local TV anchor, radio host, producer and columnist Jan D’Atri served as emcee for the program along with event co-chairs Lee Courtney and Kimberly Jacobsen. D’Atri brought her own special energy and enthusiasm to the role as the owner of 26 farm animals.

The program included storytelling around the impact of Animal-Assisted Therapy, and Bryce and Debbie Sherman received the Dine With Your Dog Ambassador Award. Their son, Kameron, passed away in 2019 after a battle with cancer. Because Kameron enjoyed his time with the dog therapy teams, they launched a foundation to honor his memory, benefitting Animal-Assisted Therapy Teams.

Alta Vista Veterinary Hospital, Penguin Air and Raising Cane’s sponsored the brunch.


Katee Lauchner with CiCi and CoCo

Oscar De las salas and Gary Jackson with Hugo

National Quarterback Club Awards Dinner

The National Quarterback Club presented its Awards Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Jan. 17 at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. Valley resident Bill Shover was honored with the 2019 Legacy Recognition Award for his decades of philanthropy in communities and organizations in Phoenix.

The event also recognized Bryce Young of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., with the High School Quarterback of the Year Award. Louisiana State University’s Joe Burrow received the College Quarterback of the Year Award. Drew Bledsoe and Rich Gannon were inducted into the National Quarterback Hall of Fame.

Major Ed Pulido, U.S. Army (Ret.) delivered the keynote address at the event. Letitia Frye served as the evening’s auctioneer, and Nate Nathan and the Mac Daddy Os provided the entertainment. Raising Cane’s was the presenting sponsor. Proceeds benefit Folds of Honor, The Salvation ArmyMassachusetts General HospitalHearStrong Foundation, National Sports Foundation and the XOXO Stabler Foundation.

The awards dinner will be an annual event in Phoenix as the organization has made the Valley its permanent home.


Don Kile, NQBC president, with Hall of Fame inductee Tom Gannon and Jim Plunkett

Don Kile, NQBC president, with Hall of Fame inductee Drew Bledsoe and Adam Bledsoe

NQBC QuarterbacBryce Young of Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, Calif. 

Arizona Celebrity Waiters

Arizona Coyotes players traded their hockey sticks for serving trays Jan. 27 at the team’s Celebrity Waiters event at Maple & Ash in Scottsdale. Guests enjoyed food and wine served by the hockey headliners.  

The evening included a cocktail reception, dinner, and silent and live auctions. Proceeds benefit the Arizona Coyotes Foundation, which funds charities that help children and first responders.  


Clayton Keller, Jakob Chychrun and Christian Dvorak

Alexandra Davis, Sydney McClure, Rachel Rush, Claire Stewart and Ashley Dazel

Darcy Kuemper

Jakob Chychrun

Jason Demers, Antti Raanta, Lorrie Glaeser, Jakob Chychrun, Clayton Keller and Darcy Kuemper

Kristen Keogh

Lawson Crouse

Sarah Barroway, Nik Hjalmarsson and Andrew Barroway

Barrow Grand Ball

The Women’s Board of the Barrow Neurological Foundation raised a record $8.3 million for Barrow Neurological Institute through the 2020 Barrow Grand Ball. Women’s Board members Tahnia McKeever and Christine Watson co-chaired the Jan.18 black-tie gala at the Arizona Biltmore. White House Design Studio created the beautiful red and slate décor.

Each year for the Grand Ball, the Women’s Board supports a project meaningful to its membership and important to the future of Barrow. In 2020, the Grand Ball committee selected Sonntag Spine Center at Barrow Neurological Institute. Led by Juan S. Uribe, MD, the Sonntag Spine Center accepts the challenge of treating painful and debilitating spine conditions, to reduce back pain and restore mobility. Seven years after the retirement of its namesake, Volker K.H. Sonntag, MD, the center builds on his legacy of providing hope by searching for a cure for paralysis, expanding minimally invasive surgery and improving outcomes from surgery and rehabilitation.

In addition to the Sonntag Spine Center, this year’s funds also support Barrow research in critical areas including Alzheimer’s, aneurysm, brain tumor, headache, Parkinson’s, spinal disorder and stroke.

With a gift through the 2020 Barrow Grand Ball, Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance and the Dorrance Family Foundation will endow the Dorrance Chair of Vascular Neurology. Michael Waters, MD, PhD, director of the Neurovascular Division and Stroke Program, will be named chair. This endowment allows dedicated time for his groundbreaking research to identify genetic mechanisms of stroke and develop drugs to minimize the damage caused by stroke.

A gift from Barbara Anderson will go toward the purchase of a second Barrow Emergency Stroke Treatment Unit to double the coverage of this innovative program bringing the emergency department to a patient’s driveway, providing life-saving care.

Amy Thurston is the 2020 chair of the Women’s Board, which has supported Barrow for 55 years, raising more than $75 million for life-changing initiatives.




Betty Van Denburgh and her son, David; Jan and Tom Lewis

Sandy and Michael Hecomovich; Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance

Amy Thurston, Nancy Hanley Eriksson and Ron Eriksson

Earl Petznick, Jr. with Pat and Earl Petznick, Sr.

Cindy and Kelly Mero

Betty Van Denburgh and her son, David; Jan and Tom Lewis

Sonntag Spine Center Donors with Dr. Volker Sonntag: Ann Denk, Tahnia McKeever, Dr. Volker Sonntag, Mary Ellen McKee, Sandy Hecomovich, and Amy Thurston

Mary Jo and Jim Grogan with Amy Thurston

Dionne and Francis Najafi

Phoenix Boys Choir Gala

In 2019, Phoenix Boys Choir welcomed new leadership. In June, for the first time in 20 years the Choir welcomed a new artistic director,chair

Gala chair Kristine McIver and GayLynn Shea

Herbert Washington, and a new chair of its board of trustees, Brandi Reynolds. In mid-October, the Choir a new executive director, Mitra Khazai, took the helm. In spite of the changes, the organization produced its first gala in several years on Nov. 9.

“The New Roaring ’20s” was held at Hotel Valley Ho. Guests enjoyed entertainment by the choir, along with food, bidding and cocktails.

Radio host Rich Berra of the nationally syndicated morning show The Johnjay and Rich Show was the evening’s emcee. The ’20s-themed cover band Jackie Lopez & Jazzola also entertained. The highlight of the evening was the recognition of honorary chair Dr. Dorothy Lincoln Smith, who with her husband, Harvey K. Smith, the Choir’s first artistic director, helped build the Choir into an internationally recognized, Grammy Award-winning arts organization. Gabriel Fortoul, of the Fortoul Brothers, presented Lincoln Smith with a painting that represented her role in guiding the boys in the Phoenix Boys Choir for decades.

Kristine McIver chaired the gala.


Herbert Washington, Dr. Dorothy Lincoln Smith and Gabriel Fortoul

Rich Berra, emcee, and Stacey Kole

Jim and Twila Burdick


66th Annual Fashion Show Luncheon

The Board of Visitors 66th Annual Fashion Show Luncheon was Dec. 14 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn. More than 1,100 attended the occasion to cheer on the 2020 Flower Girls, grandchildren of BOV members and professional models on the runway as they wore fashions from Dillard’s. Joanie O’Connor chaired the event.

Proceeds from the luncheon benefit the community health-care needs of women, children and the elderly. In 2019, BOV granted more than $1.1 million to local charities, including The Board of Visitors Ryan House, Homeless Youth Connection, Barrow Neurological Foundation and Mission of Mercy.

The 2020 Flower Girls will be presented at the 105th Annual Charity Ball on April 4 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn.


Fashion Show participants

Joanie O’Connor, fashion show chair, and Sharon Stevens; Sarah and Tinker Shannon

The Lomax family

The Scardello family

Susan Westra, ball chair (right), with her mother, Diane Willian

2019 BOV Grant Recipients

• About Care, Inc.
• Banner Health Foundation
• Barrow Neurological Foundation
• The Board of Visitors Ryan House
• Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix
• Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation
• Duet: Partners in Health & Aging
• East Valley Adult Resources
• Florence Crittenton
• Foundation for Blind Children
• Homeless Youth Connection
• Mission of Mercy
• Neighborhood Ministries
• Phoenix Allies for Community Health/PACH
• St. Joseph’s Foundation
• St. Vincent de Paul Virginia G. Piper Medical Dental Clinic
• Scottsdale Training & Rehabilitation Services/STARS
• Southwest Human Development
• StreetLightUSA
• UPWARD for Children and Families

29th Annual Poinsettia Tea

More than 430 guests attended the 29th Annual Poinsettia Tea at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch. The afternoon affair raised $130,770 to benefit Duet: Partners in Health & Aging and its mission to promote health and well-being through vitally needed, free-of-charge services to homebound adults, family caregivers, faith communities and grandfamilies.

Guests enjoyed the sounds of The Shannon Wallace Quartet featuring Charles Lewis. Destry Jetton, Arizona Midday host, served as the emcee. Attendees heeded the Call to Compassion by generously giving $83,358 in donations on the spot.

The Dosia Carlson “KARED About” Award was presented to Clare Goldsberry, who has been a Duet volunteer and supporter for more than 30 years. A presenter and writer, she has inspired audiences throughout the Valley to volunteer, donate or ask for help. She is a member of Duet’s Vision Society, Legacy Circle and Board of Directors.


Clare Goldsberry, Elizabeth Banta, Ann Wheat and Rev. Dr. Dosia Carlson

Guest speakers Patricia Taylor and Sandy Mercer

Nichole Barnes, Ann Wheat and Deanna Polous

Poinsettia Tea committee

Stu Turgel and Judy Frieder

Rise In Style: Fashion for the Future

Phoenix Suns Charities hosted Rise In Style: Fashion for the Future on Jan. 11 at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Suns players Kelly Oubre Jr. and Deandre Ayton co-chaired the inaugural fashion show that drew almost 700 guests to the downtown venue. The pair also helped develop the aesthetic and creative programming elements for the show. As part of the interactive event, co-hosted by media personality Rosalyn Gold-Onwude and digital creator/sneaker aficionado Jacques Slade, the entire Suns team plus head coach Monty Williams and general manager James Jones, flaunted their style on the runway alongside youth representatives from local nonprofit organizations throughout the Valley.

The special evening, presented by Annexus, included a cocktail reception, silent auction and more. Proceeds from Rise In Style benefit Phoenix Suns Charities, which works to improve the lives of youth and families throughout Arizona by actively creating and supporting programs that focus on education, recreation, health and human services.


Aron Baynes and Hayden Litchenberg

Cheick Diallo and Kenny Ondo

Dario Saric and Quincy Dailey

Gabriel Olvera and Deandre Ayton

Elie Okobo and Olivia Curcuru

Jevon Carter and Leandra Brown

Tysean Bailey and Kelly Oubre Jr. 

Raven Morris and Ty Jerome

54th Annual Desert Ball

Desert Foundation Auxiliary held its 54th Annual Desert Ball on Dec. 21 at the Phoenician. More than 500 guests attended the event to celebrate the presentation of 19 young women by Mark T. Snyder. The ballroom was beautifully decorated by White House Design Studio in deep shades of pink, red and burgundy. A red velvet drape made of large red roses provided a backdrop for the presentation as well as for The Hamptons, who provided the dance music.

Wendy Dewane and Jill Hegardt co-chaired the evening. Proceeds from the ball are dispersed annually. The 2019 beneficiaries are Gigi University and ElderTLC.


Decor by White House Design Studio; Molli Mead and her father, Mark Mead

Keith Gapusan and his daughter Paige

9th Annual Holiday Champagne Brunch & Auction

Lost Our Home Pet Rescue held its 9th Annual Holiday Champagne Brunch & Auction on Dec. 8 at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa. For the 500 guests in attendance, the occasion kicked off the holiday season with sparkling champagne, a brunch, silent and live auctions, pet lovers, inspiring stories and adoptable pets. Speaker Craig Braddick shared his inspiring story of how the senior dogs he adopted from Lost Our Home lay on the area where he had cancer and continue to help calm him when his PTSD is difficult. The event raised $210,000 for the nonprofit, no-kill shelter located in Tempe.


Holiday Prelude XXXIV

Holiday Prelude celebrated its 34th annual fashion show, luncheon, holiday boutiques and raffle Dec. 16 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn. The festive event is co-hosted by and benefits Phoenix Theatre Company Guild and Phoenix Youth Symphony.

The boutiques, which guests browsed prior to the luncheon, featured a range of offerings, including clothing, accessories, candles and other holiday merchandise. Connie’s Corner, a special tradition, offered cakes, cookies and holidays treats.

Guests then enjoyed a luncheon of shaved Brussels sprouts and cranberry salad, sage and garlic chicken breast and banana caramel tart. Julia Libling and her committee designed the luncheon centerpieces, which were sold afterward to guests.

A highlight was the fashion show created by Tanya Barnes-Matt. “Rhapsody of Fashion” on the runway featured Galina Couture, The Clotherie, Lourdes Chavez Couture, Fashion by Robert Black and Jewels by Alan Anderson. Designer Galina Mihaleva took a bow on the runway during the show.

Janet Richter and Patsy J. Kelly co-chaired the event, and Lin Sue Cooney served as emcee.

Phoenix Theatre Company Guild was founded in 1953 to support Phoenix Theatre Company, which celebrates its 100th season this year.  Phoenix Youth Symphony, founded in 1947, supports three youth orchestras and four ensembles comprised of 300 young musicians.


Adrienne Schiffner and Betty McRae

Maggi Heiser, Mary Contreras and Susan Bitter Smith

Vicki Vaughn, Billie Jo Herberger, Carol Poore and Deborah Bateman

Photographers Elena and Jim Thornton

Lisa Platt, Darlene Keller Price and Sharon Lechter

Fashions on the runway

Fashions on the runway

White Christmas

Almost 250 guests attended Ryan House’s Signature White Christmas Gala in the Gold Room at the Arizona Biltmore on Dec. 7. Guests enjoyed a festive evening to kick off the holiday season as they celebrated The Board of Visitors Ryan House.

The annual event is held as a thank you to those who support Ryan House’s mission to provide respite and end-of-life care to children with life-limiting conditions. The elegant evening raised $235,000 in direct support of the nonprofit organization.

The evening began with the Luke Air Force Honor Guard presenting the colors in recognition of Pearl Harbor Day. Artists of Convergence Ballet Company followed with a performance, and then guests enjoyed dinner and dancing to the music of The Hamptons.

Petals owner Jennifer Grant created blooming white floral arrangements with green accents in keeping with the White Christmas theme. In spite of the rainy evening, guests enjoyed the event’s magical snowfall tradition on the patio outside the Gold Room.

Pepper Kincaid-Sizer and Jennifer Whitesides co-chaired the evening, and Karie Dozer served as emcee.


Jennifer Whitesides, Pepper Kincaid-Sizer and Tracy Leonard-Warner, Ryan House executive director

Jim Pierson and Kat Pierson

Andrea and John Pappas; Dr Richard Glazer and Jacque Weiss

Lisa and Jeff Haff

Jeanne and Frank Hertz

John Pappas and Matt Winter; Kari Dozer and Pepper

Julia Winter and Andrea Pappas

Kathy and Michael Hanley

Kyle and Elyse Hallstrom, Janet Moodie, and Justin Whitesides

Lin Sue Cooney and Deb Behrendt

Patrick Fredenberg and Paula Lovesy

Roy and Judy Schumacher

Susan Kricun, Dr. Richard Glazer and Jacque Weiss

Lin Sue Cooney and Scott Blaney; Mara and Tim Schantz

Taylor and Jonathan More

Starry Night | An ARTrageous Gala

Scottsdale Arts celebrated 20 years of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art with a reimagined event—complete with a 300-foot red carpet. Guests at the Dec. 7 event arrived amidst the light of Squidsoup’s Murmuration installation at SMoCA and music by American Idol alumnus Von Smith.

The evening recognized luminaries who were instrumental in the Museum’s birth, culminating in the debut of the new Herberger Award for the Arts, which was presented to Dr. Robert Knight, SMoCA’s founding director.

Gala chair Oscar De las salas—alongside hosts Carey Peña of Inspired Media 360, Vanessa Ruiz of Cronkite News Borderlands and Javier Soto of Good Morning Arizona—kept the event moving for the 425 attendees, from a champagne toast and live auction to dinner inside Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and entertainment by local performers who have participated in programs facilitated by Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation.

The gala raised $300,000 for Scottsdale Arts, providing funds for programming under the largest arts umbrella in Arizona, including signature events like Canal Convergence and the Scottsdale Arts Festival, as well as the organization’s four branches: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, SMoCA, Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation.


Dr. Robert Knight, Will Bruder, Sam Campana, Kathy Hotchner, Stephanie Jacobson, Carolyn Robbins, Randy Schilling, Valerie Vadala Homer and Ellie Ziegler     HAUTE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Natasha Boas, Jennifer McCabe and Brad Kahlhamer     HAUTE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Chris Irish, Linda Herold, Sam Campana and Lee Ansel     HAUTE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Bruce Etkin, Gary Jackson, Madonna Newman and Paul Newman     HAUTE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Micheline Etkin, Jordan Rose, Bruce Etkin and Jason Rose     PHOTO BY BRUCE YEUNG

Dinner tables in Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts     HAUTE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Micheline Etkin and Madonna Hall Newman     HAUTE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Mark and Stella Saperstein     HAUTE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Auctioneer Letitia Frye     HAUTE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

Desert Mountain High School dancers make an entrance     HAUTE EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY

ACI Holiday Luncheon

Arizona Costume Institute presented its annual Holiday Luncheon on Dec. 9 at Phoenix Art Museum. Tonne Goodman, author and fashion editor of Vogue, was the guest of honor and keynote speaker. More than 350 guests attended the luncheon, which raised in excess of $160,000 in resources for the Museum and its fashion design department.

Goodman began her career in fashion as a model before studying art at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From there, she quickly moved on to other areas of the industry, working at New York Times Magazine with Carrie Donovan before becoming a stylist for various commercial clients with Life Magazine. In 1988, she was appointed vice president of advertising for Calvin Klein, where she created iconic imagery for the company. Subsequently at Harper’s Bazaar she worked alongside Liz Tilberis before ultimately joining Anna Wintour at Vogue in 1999. DurIng her tenure as the magazine’s fashion director for almost 20 years, she was responsible for dramatic editorials and eye-catching covers. Goodman was awarded the Eleanore Lambert Award in 2010 from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

In addition to a presentation by Goodman and remarks by Helen Jean, interim fashion curator at Phoenix Art Museum, the event featured 10 gowns from the Museum’s fashion design collection on display as well as a champagne reception, a style-focused raffle and cuisine provided by Santa Barbara Catering.

Jennifer Carmer chaired the luncheon, and Priscilla Nicholas served as honorary chair.

The evening prior to the event, presenting sponsors Chrissy and Mitch Sayare of To Be Continued boutique, hosted a VIP cocktail party in their Paradise Valley home for the top luncheon donors. About 30 people attended the event.


Billie Joe Herberger and Liz Agboola; Michelle Blincoe, Priscilla Nicholas and Charlene Berge Blum

Tonne Goodman

Camerone Parker McCulloch and Paula Taylor

Dr. Kati Festy-Sandor

Chrissy Sayare and Kristine Thompson

Diane Halle, Matthew Boland, Priscilla Nicholas and Miriam Sukhman

Susan von Hellens, Tochia Levine and Caroline Harbeck Farkas

Charlene Berge Blum, Lynne Love, Perrine and Alice Adams, and Madonna Hall Newman

Adrienne Schiffner and Eileen Yeung

Lisa Portigal and Raquel McPherson

Gary Jackson, Gerda Ray, Linda Herold, Oscar De las salas and Kristine Thompson

Lynne Love and Tracy Katz

Ruby Farias designs in silent auction

The table settings

Old Bags, New Fashions

Homeward Bound delighted guests at the Old Bags Luncheon on Nov. 20 at the Arizona Biltmore with designer handbags, classic Arizona art pieces and custom-made jewelry during its traditional silent auction. Designer Nicole Miller was in attendance, presenting a vintage vignette-style fashion presentation with a nod to Japanese and French influences, funky patterns and layers of fun. The event raised $300,000 for the homeless families of Homeward Bound. CC Goldwater served as honorary luncheon chair.


Genna Roehrich, Claire Corsmeier, Kris Oh, Shanel Saunders, Jennifer Hadley Catero and Melissa Heinrichs

Nicole Miller, center, with models

Becky Jackson, Homeward Bound president and CEO; Jordan Moreno, Lorainne Bergman and Julie Johnson

Dru Hammer, Nicole Miller, CC Goldwater and Wendy Rogers

Michelle Schechner and Toni Dusik

pARTy in the Garden

Phoenix Art Museum honored Ellen and Howard Katz at pARTy in the Garden on Nov. 2. More than 400 attended the Museum’s 60th anniversary celebration, which also premiered the exhibition Legends of Speed, its first to explore the artistry and design of race cars. The evening generated more than $775,000 to support exhibitions and art-education programs at the Museum. Susan Emerson and Laurie Florkiewicz co-chaired the event. They were joined by Margot Knight and Meredith von Arentchildt in planning the annual affair.


Dr. Jack Friedland, Bud Selig and Harriet Friedland

Milena and Tony Astorga with Jacquie Dorrance

Teddy Schwarzman and Ellen Katz

Craig and Lisa Outhier

Billie Jo Herberger and Doris Ong

Pam and Ray Slomski

Dr. Joel and Libby Cohen with Lisa and Glair Portigal

Carolyn Jackson, Lori Florkiewicz and Ellen and Howard Katz

Michael Bartley, Susan Emerson and Justin Gonzalez

Melani and Rob Walton

Beaux Arts

Scottsdale Artists’ School held its annual fundraising event Nov. 9 in a large party tent on the school’s grounds. More than 400 guests attended the evening event, raising more than $195,000 for the nonprofit fine arts school based in Old Town Scottsdale. The evening included raffles and a silent auction that featured more than 160 works of art by Ed Mell, G. Russel Case, Milt Kobayashi, Matt Smith, Johanna Harmon, Dustin Van Wechel and many other renowned artists. Board member Sheila Ingram was recognized recognized with a special award for her commitment to the school.

Many of the guests came dressed in the glam style of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s to complement the Beaux Arts signature painting. Each year, a signature raffle piece and a signature painting are donated to Beaux Arts. The signature raffle piece was “Eat More Beef,”  a sculpture by Sandy Scott. The 2019 signature painting, “Time for Herself,” was painted exclusively for Beaux Arts by Joseph Lorusso, an instructor at SAS.


Guest of honor Sheila Ingram; Linda and Bill Hahn

Betsy Vincent, Bernadette Wolfswinkel and Norm LaZar

Sharon Powell and Catherine “Fluff” Marsh

Joe and Nancy Braucher

Tim McFadden , Ed Gregory, Betsy Vincent and Marylyn Modny

Erik Twist, Allison Twist and Jessica Connolly

60th Annual Phoenix Heart Ball

More than 900 guests attended the 60th Annual Heart Ball at the Phoenician. Bluemedia and Marx Productions created the stunning décor of cream and charcoal with hints of silver and rose gold. For the black-tie occasion, many of the female guests wore gowns in metallic sequins, cream or white, and all-white floral arrangements in the cocktail and dinner settings helped carry out the color scheme. Phat Strads Duo, West Coast Music of Beverly Hills and DJ Mr. P-Body provided the entertainment. Following dinner, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hosted the after-party.

Kristine Thompson chaired the elegant evening, raising more than $2.5 million to benefit the American Heart Association. Charlene Berge-Blum and Amanda Garmany served as vice-chairmen; Jennifer Moser, chair-elect; Sandy Magruder (Thompson’s mother), Heart Ball Sweetheart; and Priscilla and Michael Nicholas, honorary chairmen.


Priscilla Nicholas, Sandy Magruder, Kristine Thompson, Charlene Berge-Blum, Amanda Garmany and Jennifer Moser

Elizabeth Hillman Garrett and Chrissy Sayare

Dr. Robert McCulloch and Camerone Parker McCulloch; Mac and Sandy Magruder

Billie Jo and Judd Herberger; Ron Eriksson and Nancy Hanley Eriksson

Rodney Riley and Jill Krigsten Riley

Vernon and Vicki Vaughn with Carolyn and Rick Ross

Carolyn Jackson, 2018 Heart Ball chairman, with Kristine Thompson

Tracey and Larry Lytle

Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson and Richard J Stephenson

Eileen Yeung on the dance floor

Sweet treats at the after-party

Mischief at the after-party

Life is a Cabaret

Longtime Arizona Theatre Company supporters Laurie and Rob Glaser received The Georgy Award at Life is a Cabaret, the Company’s annual fundraising gala. The Oct. 19 event was held at the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson.

The 535 guests in attendance raised $375,000. Kay and Walter Oliver encouraged 35 members to give $1,000 each to support the effort to remove the cost for students from Title One schools to attend matinees at no charge. Yve Rojas served as auctioneer, raising $155,000.

Gail Giclas, senior vice president of investments at Raymond James, and community volunteer Trisa Schorr co-chaired the evening.


Allie Devaney, Ironwood Ridge High School senior, on stage

Chandra Hershey-Lear and Robert Hershey

Kay and Walter Oliver, Sean Daniels, ATC artistic director, and his wife Veronica Duerr

Joanie Flatt, Gail Giclas and Laurie Glaser

Laurie and Rob Glaser

Liz Hernandez at the Welcome Hedge

Michael Kasser, Liz Hernandez, Char Augenstein and Bhavin Kapadia

Rob Glaser at the Welcome Hedge

Sean Daniels, ATC artistic director, and Billy Russo, managing director

Trisa Schorr, Lynne Wood Dusenberry and Gail Giclas

Imagine: A Black and White Affair

Almost There Foster Care celebrated its third annual Imagine: A Black and White Affair at the Wrigley Mansion. The Nov. 2 gala drew almost 400 people dressed in their best black-and-white cocktail attire, raising $103,000 for the organization’s Community Canine Project. The funds will directly help homeless dogs of Arizona.

Geri Hormel, Annie Barlow and Kim French co-chaired the evening, which included hors d’oeuvres; beer, wine and champagne; black-and-white portraits; live music and adorable puppies, plus a raffle, silent auction, wine pull and mystery gift station.

The nonprofit ATFC is dedicated to providing loving care and a comfortable space to homeless large-breed pregnant dogs and their pups who need time and space to grow and become socialized as they search to find their forever homes.


Caitlin Pigott, Gillian Hormel and Jack Borenstein at the Mystery Gift station

Bambi Vincent, Marcia Vincent and Karen Wolf

Denise and John Schultz; Danielle Zambino

Frank and Lori Verderame

Geri and Jamie Hormel

Nancy Pohl, Jennifer Smiljanich, David Smiljanich and Prescott Pohl

Special guest Dream

Imagine at the Wrigley Mansion

19th Annual Promise Ball

JDRF Arizona Chapter held its 19th annual Promise Ball at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa on Nov. 9. The 585 guests at the gala affair generated $1.4 million to help fund a cure for type 1 diabetes.

The black-tie fundraiser was themed “Unstoppable Now” and included a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, dinner and dancing with after-party entertainment by Liquid Blue. This year’s honorees were Kim and David Roberts and their family for their commitment to JDRF’s vision of a world without type 1 diabetes. Carey Peña served as the evening’s emcee, and Letitia Frye returned as the auctioneer. Hank Arens of Hank Arens Designs chaired the event.


After-party entertainment by Liquid Blue

Carey Peña, the evening’s emcee

Dr. Natalie Strand of Mayo Clinic, Martha Andrews and Dr. Paul Andrews of Mayo Clinic

Drs. Colin and Bithika Thompson of Mayo Clinic, Dr. Basu and Mrs. Jean Saha with Scott Showers, JDRF executive director 

James Patterson, Robyn Moore, Mandy Holmes and James Holmes

Jayme and Nicholas Eggert

Marcela Yates, Tara Rakow and Dominique Dady

JDRF Youth Ambassadors Leila and Remi

JDRF Youth Ambassadors Nick, Ella, Hana and Pete

Letitia Frye, auctioneer

36th Annual Brophy Fashion Show

The 36th annual Brophy Fashion Show at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Scottsdale drew a sellout crowd of 1,200 guests, almost 250 Brophy seniors, two dogs—Chewy and Chunk—and several hours of fun and fashion. The event raised almost $1 million to support the school’s scholarship fund, which allows the Jesuit school to continue its mission of offering a college prep education to all young men who qualify to attend.

Fashions from Neiman Marcus opened the runway portion of the show, followed by Brophy seniors wearing fashions from 20 Valley retailers as well as Brophy Bronco athletic attire and spirit wear from Brophy’s Varsity Show.

Leslee Allen and Michelle Roe co-chaired the luncheon.


Leslee Allen, Father Juan Pablo, President Adria Renke, Principal Bob Ryan and Michelle Roe

Fashions on the runway presented by Neiman Marcus

Fashions on the runway

Jaam Magot, Jackson Whitaker and Marcos Brenes; Seniors on the runway

Andrew Christopherson and Chris Green; Jack Taylor and Sam Scanlon

James Church and Dane Nielson

A McNight to Remember

“Around the World in 80 Days” was the theme of the Nov. 2 McNight to Remember, hosted by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona. The evening at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn was record-breaking in three ways: attendance (750), number of silent auction packages (160-plus) and gross revenues raised ($680,000).

At the event, Marty Manning and Thunderbirds Charities received Heart of the House Awards. Chris Bates and Sabastien Reyes co-chaired the evening. Susan Casper, ABC 15 Sonoran Living served as the emcee.


Anysa and Chris Bates

Sebastien Reyes and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego

Dominique Reyes, Stuart and Megan Shoen, and Treger Strasberg

Dr. Michele Halyard Robinson and Dawn Peters with Ronald McDonald

Dr. Anne Maiden and Joshua Hope

Gary Lane and Jennifer Biffer

Grand Canyon University Critical Mass Choir

Jenn and Erik Pedersen

Jerry Diaz, Latasha Causey, Monique Porras and Sebastien Reyes

Kelsey and Kim Van Hook

Kerry and Brian Schulman, Kea Tabisola and Myles Johnson

Lisa Evens and Troy Swope

Paula and Carl Bommarito

Ed and Vona Breunig

Susan Casper, Marty Manning and Kerry Schulman

Arizona Cardinal Women’s Club

The ballroom

Dinner With Hamilton

The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute presented Pulitzer Prize-winning author and National Humanities Medal recipient Ron Chernow at its annual History Dinner, this year themed Dinner With Hamilton–The Man and the Musical. Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton was the inspiration for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical Hamilton, the biggest Broadway hit of the past 50 years. The author shared insights into the founding father as well as the memorable experience of working with Miranda. At one point, he delighted the audience with a short rendition of one of the songs from the musical.

The 800 guests at the Nov. 9 at the Phoenician enjoyed a dinner menu based on what Hamilton and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Schuyler), might have served around their dinner table. The three-course meal included Schuyler Split Pea Soup, Colonial Roast Beef and Warm Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce. SRP and White House Design studio transformed the ballroom into colonial Philadelphia for the occasion.

Following dinner and the presentation, Chernow was joined on stage by Senator Jon Kyl for a fireside chat.

Jacquie Dorrance, Penny Gunning, Erin Gogolak and Carrie Hulburd co-chaired the event. Matthew Feeney, O’Connor Institute Board chairman, served as the evening’s emcee. Funds raised support the mission of the O’Connor Institute to continue the legacy of retired Supreme Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and her lifetime work to advance civil discourse, civic engagement and civics education.


Nancy and Ed White; Senator Jon Kyl and Caryll Kyl

Vince and Karla Yanez; Sarah Suggs, Lois Savage and Terry Roman

Nancy Hanley Eriksson and Ron Eriksson; David Pijawka and Judy Dworkin

Darren Wethers, Marion Kelly and Mike Glawe

Richard Nye and Carolyn Johnsen; Jason and Kalina Monczka

Judd and Billie Jo Herberger; Larry and Tracey Lytle

Pat Petznick and Belle Betznick; Molly Podiesny, Alexandra Eagle and Claire Eichmann

Michael Nussbaum, Randy Nussbaum, Oscar De la salas and Gary Jackson

Lois Savage, Anne Stupp, Zack Yankowski, and Nancy and Pat Hurley

Performance from Hamilton

Guests in the Phoenician ballroom

Society for Imagination and Wonder

On Oct. 23, Childsplay presented an exclusive event for its most loyal supporters, The Society for Imagination and Wonder. Hosted by Debra and Jim Larson, the evening gave guests backstage access to the Herberger Theater Center, where they saw an excerpt of Childsplay’s next show, Chato’s Kitchen. Guests also heard from Dylan Marron, the featured speaker, about empathy in today’s Internet-driven world.


Night of Hope Gala

Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels hosted its annual fundraiser, Night of Hope Gala, Oct. 26 at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. The evening, themed “Fight Like a Kid,” recognized Tammy Holinger with the Jo Dirtadian Volunteer of the Year Award and Jane D’Amelio with the Marty Tallman Selfless Heart Award.

Helen Kazemi chaired the evening, that raised $425,000.  Mark McClune, sports anchor for 3TV and CBS 5, served as the evening’s emcee. Subyn Wadsworth was the auctioneer.

Sponsors included Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Joni DiMino, The Karas Group, Launch Real Estate, Two Hawks Design & Development, Larissa Hoss Realty and Swift Charities.

Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels supports the here-and-now needs of families impacted by childhood cancer. It was founded in honor of Amanda Hope, a little girl battling cancer who had a special dream to help other children in her situation. Her mother, Lorraine Tallman, founded the organization to turn her wish into reality for thousands of children. Today, Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels provides Comfycozy’s for Chemo apparel, comfort and care counseling, major distraction events and financial assistance to families throughout Arizona.


Andrew and Katie Rabinowitz, Scott and Galina Perkins, and Kyle and Brittany Bohannon

Bright Lights Shining Stars

Midwestern University held its annual gala under the stars Oct. 12 on the Glendale Campus. The evening honors community service and leadership. Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., president and CEO of Midwestern University, presented the 2019 COMET (Community Outreach: Motivating Excellence for Tomorrow) Award to PetSmart Charities and the 2019 Shooting Star Award to Reverend James Turner, recently retired pastor of Glendale’s St. Thomas More Parish. Six scholarships were awarded to students representing four Midwestern University colleges for the 2019-2020 academic year. 

The dinner also featured a dinner, live band and silent auction.


Evening of Trends

Evening of Trends at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia drew a capacity crowd to support Trends Charitable Fund. Themed Desert Serenade, the Nov. 1 event included dinner and a live auction, along with showcasing 10 community-minded women as Trendsetters on the runway. The 2019 Trendsetters were Ivy Ciolli, Amanda Garmany, Abby Leadon, Tess Loo, Carrie Martz, Tiffany Quayle, Joan Raskin, Chrissy Sayare, Aimee Smith and Dee Dee Vecchione. In addition, Betty McRae, who spoke eloquently from the podium, was honored as the 2019 Fabulous Phoenician.

The dinner hour opened with a special performance by Esteban and Teresa Joy. Funds from the event benefit the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and its Center for Rare Childhood Disorders. Susie Muzzy and Vicki Vaughn chaired the evening.


Howard and Susie Muzzy with Julie and Conrad Prusak

Diego Luna, Vicki Vaughn, Molly Stockley and Christie Shears

Betty McRae and Trisha Anthony

Jean Marley and Gail Traister

Lynne Love, Tracey Lytle and Chrissy Sayare

Oscar De las salas and Jill Krigsten Riley

Alan and Cathy Kent

Linda Langa, Niki Tarbell, Amanda Garmany and Courtney Trossen

Jonathan Raskin and Hailey Williams

Elizabeth Smith, Oliver Smith, Aimee Smith, Corinne Smith and Tripp Smith

Beth McRae and Bill Dougherty

Lee Courtney, Susie Muzzy, Marilyn Alexander and Kathy Petsas

Emmi Loo and Tess Loo

Moondance Celebrates 90 Years

On Oct. 26, more than 500 guests attended the Heard Museum’s Moondance, chaired by Mary Ellen and Bob McKee. The couple led a fundraising effort that totaled $1.1 million to support exhibitions and programs. Patrons celebrated the kickoff of the Museum’s 90th anniversary, the induction of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Courtyard and the opening of the new original exhibition, David Hockney’s Yosemite and Masters of California Basketry. The evening’s honorees were longtime supporters Ellen and John Stiteler and artist Doug Hyde (Nez Perce/Assiniboine/Chippewa).

The activities began in the South Courtyard, the Heard Museum’s original entrance, with a photo opportunity in front of a 1929 Dodge Victory, manufactured the same year the Heard Museum opened. Guests continued to the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Grand Gallery to see the new exhibition, which explores how Yosemite Valley has inspired art production across time and space. The exhibition pairs works by British artist David Hockney alongside spectacular example of early- to mid-20th century Mono Lake Paiute and Miwok baskets produced by artists such as Carrie Bethel, Tina Charlie and Lucy Telles. It is the first time Hockney’s work has been shown in Arizona. Entertainment in the Dennis H. Lyon Family Crossroads Gallery was provided by pianist Craig Bohmler (Cherokee).

The evening continued in the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Courtyard with entertainment from guitarist Doug Mann and a silent auction featuring works by Jesse Monongya (Navajo/Hop), Allan Houser (Chiricahua Apache), Sonwai (Hopi) Roxanne Swentzel (Santa Clara Pueblo), and Les Namingha (Hopi/Zuni). As patrons continued to dinner, they enjoyed cultural performances from Grace Elias (Gila River Indian Community), Eva Bighorse (Diné), Ryon Polequaptewa (Hopi) and Derrick Davis (Hopi/Choctaw). Pre-recorded congratulatory messages were presented from Governor Doug Ducey and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. The evening concluded with dancing to the music of Nate Nathan and the Mac Daddy-O’s.


Mary and Tom Hudak

Oscar Ortega, Sharron Lewis, John Melamed and Wick Pilcher

Javier Torres and Ginger Sykes Torres

Brody Stiteler, John Stiteler and Allison Stiteler

Erin and Jeff Goodman with Ellen Solowey

Marina and Robert Moric with Janis Lyon

Mary Ellen McKee, Ellen Stiteler, Laurie Stiteler and David Roche

Penny and Larry Gunning with Patti and Fred Lau

Nate Nathan and the MacDaddy-O’s

Jan and Howard Hendler

4th Annual Open Your Heart Gala

Hunkapi Programs, an equine therapy farm located in the heart of Scottsdale, raised $102,000 at its fourth annual Open Your Heart Gala. More than 190 guests attended the Oct. 11 event and celebrated the nonprofit’s 20th anniversary with a farm-to-table dinner catered by Chef Doug Brochu from Creative Hands Cuisine.

“The magical gala showcased everything that it means to be a part of the Hunkapi family,” says Terra Schaad, founder of Hunkapi Programs. “We celebrated our horses, our clients and the incredible community of friends and allies who give all they can to keep the farm running.”

The festivities took place on the farm’s Manna Lawn, which was transformed by the design team at Southwest Teepee Rental. Guests included Jeri Williams, Phoenix police chief; Kara Kalkbrenner, Phoenix fire chief; and Alan Rodbell, Scottsdale police chief.

Live auction items included a private local wine tour at Pillsbury Wine Company’s vineyard in Willcox, a day as a Phoenix fireman—including lunch with Kalkbrenner— and a day as a Phoenix officer complete with a helicopter tour alongside Williams.

The evening ended with a parade of a selection of therapy horses accompanied by program clients and volunteers.

Funds raised from the event will be allocated to an array of services offered by the nonprofit, including therapeutic riding, counseling, emotional regulation, team building, addiction recovery and more.


Joe and Ivy Ciolli with Shannon and Joel Barthelemy

Isabella Stenzel

John Vargo

Mark Arne and Susie Alofs

Catering by Creative Hands Cuisine

Pillsbury Wine Company, Willcox

Carolyn Goldfarb

Hall of Famers Billie Jo and Judd Herberger

The Herberger Theater Center inducted Billie Jo and Judd Herberger into its Performing and Broadcast Arts Hall of Fame on Oct. 25. Approximately 160 guests attended the event, which included a backstage cocktail reception, dinner on Center Stage and entertainment by We3. Mayor Kate Gallego opened the program, which was highlighted by a video produced by Quantum Leap Productions and the unveiling of a bronze sculpture.

The Herberger Theater Center started the Performing and Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2000 to honor an Arizona native or resident who has achieved national or international acclaim in the field of performing arts and/or broadcast communications. The Herbergers join names such as Hugh Downs, Pat McMahon, Leslie Nielson and Alice Cooper in receiving the honor. The first inductees were Judd Herberger’s parents, bringing the honor full circle within the family.

Proceeds raised from the event will benefit the Wolf Trap program, a performance residency and arts field trip program targeting preschool and Head Start children from low-income communities.

A O Tucker Photography

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