Desert Gala 2024 | Colors of the Desert
Sunday, April 28th, 2024
5:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

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 3 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

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 4/28/25. Please allow at least one month’s advance notice when making arrangements.

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

Mata Ortiz Bowl
Photo of Mata Ortiz Pottery

Mata Ortiz Mexican pottery metallic graphite black bowl by Reynaldo Quezada. Reynaldo Quezada is not only a master potter, but Juan Quezada’s (founding artist of Mata Ortiz pottery) youngest brother. After learning the basics from his brothers, Reynaldo then worked with his sister, Consolacion, and perfected his techniques for producing the polished, black textured bowls and jars he has become famous for. Reynaldo is also credited as the first potter in Mexico to mix clays and produce a marbleized look. This gorgeous statement piece includes the stand and measures 16” diameter.

Donated by: Herb and Sue Fauth; Value: $1,000

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.

Donated by: Craft Culinary Concepts and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Value: $1,750

Claim the Name: Win the Right To Name the Museum's Bobcat!
Photo of bobcat

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

Think of all the possibilities! Name her after your child, spouse, grandchild or grandparent, a special friend, colleague, hero or mentor, a much-loved place, or some other kind of “favorite.”

The Museum will adopt the winning bidder’s submitted name, however, the Museum reserves the right to reject any name it may find to be inappropriate. Once approved by the Desert Museum, this bobcat’s name will be posted on social media for all to enjoy.

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 bobcat the winning bidder receives a framed photograph of the beautiful bobcat.

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

3‐Night Stay for two guests at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, Tour of Nashville and Country Music Hall of Fame, with Airfare Included
Photo of Nashville

This Experience for 2ppl Includes:

  • Guided tour of Nashville
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Ryman Auditorium Visit
  • 3-night stay in a superior guest room at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
  • Round-trip coach class airfare from within the 48 contiguous U.S. to Nashville, TN
  • Winspire booking & concierge service

Value: $6,900

Calibanus Hookeri
Photo of Calibanus Hookeri

Calibanus Hookeri is an unusual plant. The genus is named after Caliban, the antagonist in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Shakespeare described Caliban as a feral, misshapen whelp of the devil. However beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what is grotesque to some may induce awe and wonderment in others. At first glance of Calibanus in habitat, one might think they’re gazing upon tufts of course grass. Look closer and you may notice this “grass” sprouts from a tough, fissured, woody sub–surface tuber that some say can grow to be the size of a Volkswagon Bug. To highlight these features we have exposed this woody codex and planted the Calibanus in a Kornegay pot. This pot is artfully designed with a rough exterior that mirrors the texture of the plant. Calibanus is low-maintenance and long-lived. It will provide your patio or garden with a unique and exotic focal point for years to come.

Donated by: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Value: $1000

Craig’s Last Dance
Craig and Rachel Swing Dancing

Join Desert Museum Executive Director Craig Ivanyi and his wife, Rachel (Rachel Ivanyi Art & Illustration), for a one-of-a-kind night of fun, where YOU set the agenda! Take advantage of this special experience, as Craig hosts his last Desert Gala before transitioning from the Executive Director role. Choose to enjoy an art experience, swing dancing lesson, nature or science presentation, or combination of any/all! Hear personal stories from Craig's 41 years at the Desert Museum, and learn more about Rachel's incredible art career. Up to 10 people; at your home or at the Desert Museum. Includes hors d’oeuvres and drinks of your choice.

Must be redeemed by 1/31/2025

Donated by: Craig and Rachel Ivanyi: $1,000.

Now make a bid to support school field trips!
Children on a field trip at the Museum

Children need nature, and nature needs children.

For many school children in Tucson, AZ, a field trip to the Desert Museum is their first introduction to their Sonoran Desert environment, and can help to shape their feelings about the surrounding Sonoran Desert for a lifetime. The Desert Museum works to make field trips affordable and accessible to all youth. The Desert Museum welcomes over 10,000 students on school field trips per year, and needs support to help underwrite this.

At the Gala event, 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 funding for school field trips accessible for ALL youth. 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