Dinner on the Desert 2024 | Desert Botanical Garden


On April 20, a group of philanthropists, community leaders and Desert Botanical Garden friends gathered for its major annual fundraiser, Dinner on the Desert. The desert night sky and dramatic plant palette provided the perfect outdoor setting for a dinner that reflected the ambiance of spring. The evening also delivered a fun and engaging experience for guests.

Event co-chairs Ursula Gangadean and Dr. Edgardo Rivera said, “The summer of 2023 took a toll on the Garden’s living collection, including a devastating loss of 21 saguaros. Dinner on the Desert was a way to honor those fallen giants by looking toward a path of resilience, renewal and restoration. With the funds raised that evening, this work will be possible”.

DOD Ursula, Edgardo and Ken
Ursula Gangadean and Dr. Edgardo Rivera and The Dr. William Huizingh Executive Director Ken Schutz
Photo by Jaron Quach

The event was full of excitement and beauty including a silent auction that raised $128,000, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music along Garden trails and dining under the stars. Guests concluded the evening with a farewell experience worthy of an 85th celebration!

The chairs continued, “The Garden, with its iconic silhouettes and beautiful desert flora brought together an amazing group of people and we are glad you are one of them. We thank you for your dedicated support and generosity in the Garden’s 85th year. The Garden raised more than $500,000! We could not have achieved this without your generosity,” the chairs said.

The year’s silent auction was dedicated to the dozens of saguaros the Garden lost last summer due to extreme weather. Several saguaros were perfectly adorned for guests to bid, as well as other unique plants, art and experiences.  Funds raised from the silent auction will help to replace saguaros the Garden lost. 
Guests also received baby saguaros to plant at home as parting gifts. 

From the continued care of our priceless plant collection to sharing the beauty and awe of the Sonoran Desert with visitors from across the world, your support makes the Garden’s critical mission-driven work possible.
We would love to welcome you and new friends to Dinner on the Desert. Save the date – April 26, 2025
If you would like to be added to the mailing list for Dinner on the Desert 2025, please email Assistant Director of Development, Annual Giving Lindsi Baldwin at dod@dbg.org

Event SponsorsBlue Cross Blue Shield Arizona | SRP | JP Morgan & Chase Co. | APS | 1834, a Division of Old National Bank | Freeport McMoRan | Rob Walton Foundation | Rest Assured, Inc.