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The 25th Annual Desert Museum Gala - Anniversaries in Bloom, celebrating treasured legacies and a flourishing future

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Live Auction Preview

George L. Mountainlion Bolo Tie
Photo of tie

This beautiful solid silver bolo tie features the original Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum George L. Mountainlion logo. This one-of-a-kind design was handcrafted by docent Abe Lackow exclusively for the Museum. Of a limited edition of 100, less than a dozen are left. This elegant accessory is a great way to show your support for the Museum, and is appropriately sized for a man, woman, or child.

Donated by: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Value: $1,000

Desert Willow Tree
Photo of Desert Willow tree

This gorgeous and fast-growing tree is not only native to the Sonoran Desert, but grows naturally from Texas to southern California, and from southern Utah to Tamaulipas, Mexico. It is well-adapted to our climate (taking any temperatures that Tucson can dish out) and is easy to cultivate in your garden. This tree produces an abundance of flowers from spring through late summer. These large, rich-pink flowers are visited by native bees and hummingbirds. And, Desert Willow is the larval host plant for the night-flying Rustic Sphinx Moth. This beautiful moth is the size of a hummingbird and pollinates many of the night-blooming plant species in our region. Several years of care and shaping by the Desert Museum’s Botany Department staff went into producing this stately tree. Truly a living sculpture! Delivery included.

Donated by: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Value: $800

Choose Your Own Grand Canyon Adventure
Photo of Grand Canyon

Have a once-in-a lifetime adventure, and get your trekking poles out! This gift card goes towards a guided Grand Canyon trip offered by The Wildland Trekking Company in Flagstaff, AZ. Wildland is one of America's premier guiding outfitters whose mission is "to be a global leader in the adventure travel industry by providing exceptional hiking adventures, in a responsibly sustainable way, which promotes the conservation of both natural and human communities". The Wildland Trekking Company serves over 10,000 guests annually with year round multi-day backpacking, lodge-based hiking, base camp, and porter/llama/mule assist treks. This trip, of your choosing, comes with one weekend night stay at the Flagstaff Drury hotel, and a special gift basket from Flagstaff's local Mother Road Brewing Company! Expires 5/1/20.

Donated by: The Wildland Trekking Company, Drury Suites, Mother Road Brewing Co; Value: $1,250

Party with a Twist
Party People

Join Rachel and Craig Ivanyi for a one-of a kind night of fun, where you set the agenda! Choose from art, nature, science, swing dancing, or a combination of any or all of these activities! You can choose to have the Museum bring this to your home or host it on Museum grounds. Good for up to 16 people, hors d’oeuvres and drinks of your choice (wine, beer, tequila, non-alcoholic beverages) provided.

Event Options:

Paint Night
Whether you are a professional artist or can’t draw a stick figure, this event is for YOU! Follow a painting tutorial with Rachel Ivanyi. All materials provided in the relaxed, step by step lesson. All of your guests will go home with their own creation.
The Art & Science of the Sonoran Desert
Dinner with Presentation
Swing Dance Lessons
Always wanted to learn how to dance, but didn’t want to do so in public? Regardless of skill level or thinking you have two left feet, now’s your chance to gain that skill that’s eluded you!
About the Instructors
Rachel is an award-winning contemporary wildlife artist and ASDM Art Institute instructor (as well as Zumba fitness instructor!) see online @rachelivanyiart, while Craig is the museum’s Executive Director. Craig is a well-respected herpetologist who spent decades of his career focused on understanding and conserving a variety of Sonoran Desert animals. He also just happens to have been a semiprofessional swing dancer and instructor. Expires 5/1/20.

Donated by: Craig and Rachel Ivanyi and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Value: $2,000.

Packrat Rat Pack: A Sleepover at the Packrat Playhouse!
Photo of Packrat Playhouse

Enjoy your very own private sleepover at the Desert Museum (for a group of up to 10 kids) in the Packrat Playhouse. The evening will include live animals, night walks, and fun activities in the exhibit. Dinner, snacks, and breakfast included.

Available dates and times are at the discretion of the Desert Museum. Expires 5/1/20. Please allow at least one month’s advance notice when making arrangements.

Donated by: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Value: $1,500

The Queen & her Portrait
Queen of the Night

Be accompanied by the Queen of the Night herself, and Her Royal Portrait paired together. This Night Blooming Cereus is native throughout much of the Southwest US and northern Sonora and Chihuahua. The blooms are several inches across, white, and sweetly fragrant. They are pollinated by Sphinx and Hawk Moths. On only one magical “Sonoran Night” per year, usually in mid-June, she decides to grace us with her flowers, but you can enjoy them every day in her photograph.

The portrait is by renowned photographer and long-time photography teacher, Rhonda Spencer. Rhonda’s photographs document the rich diversity of Arizona flora and fauna, capturing details in nature that are easily overlooked by the casual eye. We have been honored to have her teach classes at our Art Institute. This beautifully framed photograph is printed with UV resistant coating so it can be displayed indoors or on a shaded patio. Best grown under the light shade of a tree or bright patio. Delivery included.

Donated by: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Botany Dept. & Art Institute; Value: $950

Private Chef for a Night
Photo of dinner setting

Experience a memorable evening as dinner for ten is prepared in your home or at the Desert Museum in a special Museum venue by the Executive Chef and team of Craft Culinary Concepts. We will collaborate with you to create a memorable gourmet menu of four courses paired with wines. Craft Culinary Concepts staff will take care of all the evening’s service details.

In addition, Desert Museum staff will offer a presentation by the Museum’s Interpretive Animal Collection if you so desire. To be scheduled at a mutually convenient time for donors, Craft Culinary Concepts, and Museum staff. Expires 5/1/20.

Donated by: Craft Culinary Concepts and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Value: $2,500

Curated Sonoran Desert Mantle by Midtown Artisans
Photo of mantle

Blending the natural world with modern industrial style, this one-of-a-kind mantle consists of three spectacular pieces handcrafted by Midtown Artisans. The signature piece is an approximately 4' x 2' hardwood panorama with custom built frame entitled “Evening Mountain View” by artist Sean Hunter. This gorgeous panorama was inspired by the spectacular landscape surrounding the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and was created using hardwood trimmings from the Midtown Artisans shop. This compelling piece is further complimented by a large, concrete agave leaf dish and a 6" concrete tabletop cactus. This stylish mantle is sure to be a conversation starter with all your guests!

Midtown Artisans is a made up of a talented team of artisans pushing their craft forward. They specialize in custom projects that are "made to last", beautiful furniture and home goods using the highest quality materials that are designed with care to enrich their customers' homes and lives. Visit their MESA showroom in the MSA Annex in the Mercado District, just west of Downtown Tucson, to see more of their incredible work.

Donated by: Midtown Artisans; Value: $3,000

Tallly-ho Tahoe: A Week's Stay in Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

Your dream of spending time in the snow-covered mountains skiing some of the best slopes, or hiking in nature’s splendor, can come true with this stay for six days and seven nights in a luxury vacation home at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe. This well-appointed home features 3 bedrooms, 3½ baths, 3 fireplaces, and sleeps 6 adults very comfortably. Lake Tahoe is a pristine jewel of nature. Surrounded on all sides by the Sierra Nevada mountain range, you can see on average 72 feet down into the lake’s cobalt waters.

Incline Village, located on the eastern North Shore, is home to some of the world's most stunning mountain retreats and features some of Lake Tahoe's most magnificent views and a genteel approach to life. Experience amazing hiking trails, skiing in Squaw Valley and Heavenly ski areas, spend an evening at the casinos, and enjoy world class dining.

Dates must be reserved at least one month in advance. Available October 15, 2019 through May 15, 2020. Excludes Christmas and New Year’s holidays (December 24, 2019 through January 1, 2020).

Donated by: Patricia Engels and Richard Medland; Value: $3,000

Original Juan Quezada Mata Ortiz Pottery
Photo of Mata Ortiz Pottery

This spectacular pot was created by the father of the Mata Ortiz Casas Grandes revival himself, Juan Quezada! The pale gray piece is from an outdoor firing in the mid-1990’s. It is in excellent condition and is 8.5” high by 8” diameter.

Named after the modern town of Mata Ortiz near the Casas Grandes archaeological site in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, this pottery style was propagated by Juan Quezada Celado. He learned to recreate this ancient art and began selling his pottery and teaching the craft by the mid 1970’s. The success of this pottery was able to bring the town of Mata Ortiz out of poverty. Here is your chance to get a rare, signed original piece.

Donated By: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Value: $5,000

A Year of Date Nights

Take the guesswork out of planning your date nights for the entire next year! We’ve put together 12 exciting pairings of date night activities — ranging from sporting events and live theatre to outdoor adventures — and 12 wonderful dining experiences ranging from casual to formal. Most of these experiences will take place in Tucson, but we’ve added a couple overnight excursions to Phoenix, with fabulous accommodations included! Note: Expiration dates vary.

Mix and match the activities and dining experiences as you like. It’s YOUR year of adventures to have and share!

Tucson Activities Tucson Dining
Arizona Bowl, football game 2 tickets & 2 t-shirts
Value: $150
Agustin Kitchen, $50 gift certificate
Biosphere II, 2 general admission tickets
Value: $42
Bisbee Breakfast Club, $50 gift certificate
Live Theater Workshop, 2 tickets
Value: $40
Café a la C’art, $100 gift certificate
The Loft Cinema, 2 tickets
Value: $20
El Berraco, $150 gift certificate
Presidio San Agustin del Tucson Museum, 2 general admission tickets
Value: $10
Fox Restaurant Concepts, $50 gift certificate
Tohono Chul Holiday Nights, 2 general admission tickets
Value: $32
Hotel Congress East End VIP package, includes: a one-night stay at Hotel Congress, dinner for two at Maynard’s Market & Kitchen, entry into Club Congress, and breakfast at the Cup Café
Value: $300
Tucson Botanical Gardens, Dual Annual Membership
Value: $55
Kingfisher, $100 gift certificate
Tucson Symphony Orchestra, 2 tickets
Value: $140
The Little One, $100 gift certificate
Tucson Temple of Music & Art, 2 subscription tickets up to Blue price category for Saturday RED Series 2019/2020 season
Value: $462
The Tasteful Kitchen, $100 gift certificate
University of Arizona Mirror Lab, 2 tickets
Value: $40 Ristorante Tavolino, $150 gift certificate
Phoenix Activities Phoenix Dining & Lodging
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 2 tickets to performance and 2 passes to SMCA
Value: $170
Mowry & Cotton, dinner for two & The Phoenician, one-night stay
Value: $750
AZ Museum of Natural History & Desert Botanical Gardens
Value: $90
Melting Pot, $150 gift certificate & Hermosa Inn, one-night stay
Value: $600

Donated by all of the wonderful organizations & businesses listed above; Total Value: $3,700

Escape to Bali
Photo of Bali

Nestled on the eastern hillside of Bali, Jepun Bali Villas are the perfect Indonesian retreat, with their spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. Villa Jepun is maintained by a Balinese staff of seven, and they will ensure that your stay is perfect. All the artifacts, hand-carved statues, and artwork at the villas have been handpicked to reflect the traditional Balinese style of living. The koi ponds, waterfalls and gardens around the villas are incredible, and boast many species of tropical flowers and trees. There is an unpretentious luxury in uncommonly beautiful surroundings, and the unique private Bali Villa rental is your perfect opportunity to experience it.

There is an abundance of activities to choose from during your stay, including some of the best diving and snorkeling in Bali. You’ll be picked up by boat at the backyard beach for your scuba adventure! The world-class diving destination of Tulamben is yours to explore! If you go to Bali for mind and body rejuvenation, you can’t go wrong with a traditional massage. The outdoor spa retreat overlooks the pool and ocean, making it the ideal place to indulge in a pampering treatment. And a special Balinese dinner is an essential aspect of any vacation in Bali.

Your trip for two includes:

  • 8 days/7 nights’ accommodations at Jepun Bali Villas
  • Daily complimentary breakfast
  • Welcome drinks upon arrival
  • (2) Scuba dive lessons
  • (2) 1-hour Balinese massages
  • (1) Pool-side Balinese dinner
  • Round-trip airport transfers
  • Complimentary driver for local travel 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Travel package is non-refundable and subject to availability. Certificates/gift cards cannot be replaced. Passport required for travel outside the U.S. Check in & check out must occur on Saturday. A minimum 30-day advance reservation is required. Travel is valid for 12 months from date of issue. Scuba dive lessons run on specific days of the week and at specific times. 

CANCELLATION POLICY: Cancellation less than 90 days prior to arrival will be subject to a cancellation penalty. 

Provided by BlueTree Marketing; Value: $5,000

Claim the Name: Win the Right To Name the Museum's New Baby Ocelot!
Photo of baby ocelot

For the first time in Desert Museum history, you have an opportunity to win the right to name a beautiful female ocelot kitten, born in March 2019.

If you are the winning bidder, you get to choose the ocelot’s name. For its life!

Think of all the possibilities. Name her after your child, wife or husband, grandchild or grandparent, friend, colleague, hero or mentor, girlfriend or boyfriend, much-loved place, or some other kind of “favorite.”

Ocelots are a leopard-like feline, ranging in size between 14 to 40 pounds and grow up to four feet long (including the tail). Each cat’s spotted coat is distinctive and unique; no two are alike. They are rarely found in Arizona and Texas and inhabit every country south of the United States, except Chile. They are solitary and nocturnal hunters.

Major threats to ocelots currently are deforestation and habitat loss. In the past, they were hunted for their fur. Thirteen ocelots were killed to make one fur coat. Listed in 1982 as endangered, the ocelot is protected by the Endangered Species Act and listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The Desert Museum participates in an ocelot breeding program designed to maintain the healthiest gene pool possible and ensure the long- term survival of the species.

If you participate in this auction, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to the terms and conditions:

The highest bidder wins the right to name it for this ocelot’s life. However, this ocelot is part of the population breeding program. It might never be on public display. It could someday be moved to another AZA member institution, for participation in the endangered species breeding program. It could also, sometime in the future, be removed from the breeding program and placed on public display.

The Museum will adopt the winning bidder’s submitted name. However, the Museum reserves the right to reject any name they may find to be inappropriate. Once approved by the Museum, this ocelot’s name will be posted on social media.

If you are the winning bidder, you must provide contact information (email address, physical address, telephone number) for ongoing communications as the submitted name is processed. The winning bidder may choose to remain publicly anonymous.

If the winning bidder chooses to submit the name of someone else (such as a friend or family member), the winning bidder must submit a written release from this other person giving permission to use their name.

Along with naming this ocelot, the winning bidder receives a framed photograph of the ocelot kitten. Once the ocelot’s name is determined, a nameplate, which can be affixed to the framed photograph, will be provided by the Museum. Because the Museum must limit the ocelot kitten’s exposure to humans, the winning bidder will NOT be able to visit or see this ocelot in person, unless it is removed from the breeding program and placed on display sometime in the future.

Donated by: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Value: $ PRICELESS

Now Raise Your Paddle for Animal and Vet Care!
Photo of small raptor on glove

The Desert Museum includes over 6,500 animals, ranging from tiny spiders to Cruz, the mountain lion. It takes over a million dollars a year to provide them with essential animal and veterinary care, and veterinarians provide more than 200 days a year of specialized care to Desert Museum animals.. YOU can help fund our great work TONIGHT for the precious animals at the Museum. Raising $30,000 would have a tremendous benefit to the great care these animals receive!

The auctioneer will invite you to raise your bid card as she calls out different increments of money. When you raise your bid card you will be doing something very special: donating that amount for animal and vet care at the Desert Museum.

This is an opportunity for you to give to, rather than buy, something important. And remember, all the funds raised by during this paddle raise will be spent to provide needed animal and vet care.

Your paddle raise is a donation and fully tax-deductible.

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“During our first visit to the Desert Museum in 1994 we agreed it was the best full spectrum natural history experience we'd ever had - and right here in our own backyard!
We've supported the Museum annually since then and encourage friends and business associates to do the same.”
--Jerry Weinert
& Marni Dittmar