News Briefs for February 2017

Landscaping tips for do-it-yourself desert gardener

Carefree Desert Gardens is hosting Tom Gatz—a retired wildlife biologist, horticultural aide in the education department at the Desert Botanical Garden and certified desert landscaper—at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18.

His talk will center on landscaping smaller areas and how to plant to achieve year-round color and contrast. Gatz’s garden has been featured in Phoenix Home & Garden magazine, The Sonoran Quarterly, magazine of the Desert Botanical Garden, and other wildlife and urban publications.

The program will include a plant raffle. It will be held at the Speakeasy on Easy Street, Jazz Supper Club, on the northwest corner of the U.S. Post Office, 100 Easy St., Carefree. A minimum donation of $5 is suggested. For more information, call 480-488-3686.

NVSO to host gala fundraising event

North Valley Symphony Orchestra has scheduled its first gala fundraising event.

Caribe Devine, 12 News anchor and meteorologist, will emcee the event set for Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Moon Valley Country Club, 151 W. Moon Valley Dr., Phoenix. The gala features a silent auction to contribute to operation and growth of NVSO and its youth programming, and speaker Kevin Kozacek, the NVSO music director, who will give the orchestra’s history, plans and goals.

Attendees will have a variety of silent auction items to consider, including two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines, a violin handmade for the event by Jody Summerford, a variety of restaurant gift cards, an entertainment package by Agave String Quartet, and themed baskets.

Entertainment will be provided throughout the evening by NVSO small ensembles, including Agave String Quartet and NVSO Youth Octet. The Mardi Gras-themed event begins with cocktails at 5:30 p.m., giving guests the opportunity to browse the silent auction items until dinner is served. Event tickets are $75 each or two tickets for $125, and include dinner, one entry to the evening raffle prize and one cocktail. Reservations can be made at

Rotary Club set to raise funds for Soldier’s Best Friend

Soldier’s Best Friend is the beneficiary of the Rotary Club of Scottsdale North’s annual fundraiser on Saturday, March 18. The organization provides U.S. military veterans living with PTSD or traumatic brain injury with service or therapeutic companion dogs.

Last year, the Rotary Club chapter raised more than $14,000 for the group.

The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Pinnacle Peak Village, General Store Patio, 8711 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Scottsdale. The $40 tickets include two glasses of wine or beer, food by a local restaurant, the ability to bid on live and silent auction items, and music by The Last Straw.

For more information, email or visit

Cave Creek Museum’s ‘Home and Garden Tour’ features four stunning locales

Cave Creek Museum’s biggest fundraising event, the “Home and Garden Tour” will feature four unique homes that range in style from Western traditional and modern.

The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 12.

The tour inclues:

  • The Binkovitz residence, a mid-century modern home that boasts spectacular views of the surrounding desert and mountains from its location atop a hill above Rancho Mañana.
  • The Hamline residence: One of the original five homes built in Carefree, this historical home was designed by renowned Carefree architect Gerry Jones. In 2006, the home was remodeled and sided with chemically rusted steel. The new look gives the home a more contemporary, industrial feel that is continued throughout the interior.
  • The Spurgin residence, a sprawling 4,424-square-foot home that was designed to house the owners’ extensive fine art collection. Built in 2005, the home has numerous patios that provide incredible views of Four Peaks, Weavers Needle and even the Fountain Hills Fountain. The guest house patio overlooks the Hohokam archaeological site. The museum will conduct a kitchen and garden boutique at this tour stop, where guests can purchase homemade baked goods, small cooking and gardening accessories, plants and crafts. All proceeds from the boutique benefit Cave Creek Museum.
  • Dickens Home: Reminiscent of an Italian Villa, this recently renovated residence belongs to award-winning artist Lucy Dickens and her husband, Richard. The ceilings add a unique charm to this home, with a beamed ceiling in the massive great room and a brick ceiling in the kitchen that add to the European ambience throughout. Dickens’ studio will also be open during the tour for those interested in seeing her paintings and workspace.

Tickets for the self-guided tour include pamphlets with the history and detailed descrption of each home. Onsite docents will point out additional aspects of each home.

Tickets may be purchased at, at the museum, 6140 Skyline Dr., or with credit card by calling 480-488-2764. The museum also will open at 8 a.m. Sunday, March 12, to sell tickets. Tickets will not be available at the homes. They are $35 until 5 p.m. Monday, March 6, and $40 afterward. No pets, food or beverages, or photography will be allowed within the homes and no children under the age of 12 will be admitted. Note that some of the homes are on uneven terrain and may not be handicap accessible.