Our Story

The Desert Foundation Auxiliary was organized in 1966 in order to celebrate and honor young ladies in our community. We have used this opportunity to bring family and friends joyfully together at an annual Ball, while supporting important community causes. This 56-year-old tradition has made DFA shine in the past and will sustain our future.

“To me this night means family “ – Jessica Katzman, 2019 Debutante

Desert Ball Experience

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Mission Statement

The Desert Foundation Auxiliary (DFA) selects and honors accomplished young ladies and their families at a formal Ball to be held each year in December so as to provide funds for 501(c)(3) organizations that focus on charitable, scientific, literary, and educational purposes. These families reside within the Scottsdale School District, City of Scottsdale, Towns of Paradise Valley and Carefree or other such areas in Maricopa County, Arizona, as designated and approved by the Board of Directors.

2023 Desert Ball Charities

Kid in the Corner

Our vision at Kid in the Corner is to live in a world where no family ever has to suffer the loss of a child to suicide.  Our mission is to support the kid in the corner, whoever that may be, and to shatter the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Founded in 2017, following the tragic loss of 16-year old Zachary Sumner, a Scottsdale high school sophomore, our program approach is to educate and spread awareness, promote kindness, and connect community to mental health resources.  Kid in the Corner’s foundational program, “The Penny Pledge” focuses on giving youth the tools, skills, language and resources needed to reach out to each other, to take care of their own mental health and to be a safe and caring person for others, is available to Arizona youth in grades 4th-12th.  Kid in the Corner reached over 3,500 youth in 2022 alone with over 85% of participants reporting an increase in critical knowledge and skills

The JoyBus

Started in 2011 by award winning chef, Jennifer Caraway, The Joy Bus is a nonprofit organization delivering more than a meal to homebound cancer patients around the Valley. Our meals are made with fresh, organic, non-GMO produce and come in eco-friendly and chemical-free packaging. Tucked into each hand-decorated paper bag is an informational sheet on the nutritional power of the ingredients used and how they will support the fight against cancer. Our service also includes critical home visits and wellness checks by our incredible team of volunteers, many of whom are cancer survivors themselves. Growing from our start as a one-woman operation serving two patients, we are so proud to now serve upwards of 140 patients, caregivers, and family members each week throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area and reached our milestone 20,000th meal as an organization in 2022.

Past Charity Recipients

The Desert Foundation Auxiliary Board distributes funds from the Ball proceeds each year to charitable organizations which benefit primarily the people in Maricopa County, Arizona.  The Desert Foundation Auxiliary has granted the proceeds of the Desert Ball to more than 100 nonprofit organizations that serve the needs of our community. These organizations typically represent grass roots programming that require recognition and initial funding in order to establish a footprint in our community.