Sugar & Champagne: SAVORlife's Soiree is All Sweetness and Light

Categories: Events

Mayor Phil Gordon, Congressman Tom Simplot and a couple hundred other supporters of Aunt Rita's Foundation (the folks behind AIDS Walk Phoenix) turned out for Sugar & Champagne: The SAVORlife Soiree at the Phoenix Art Museum this past Friday. The event capped off a round of benefit dinners for the foundation and kicked off Phoenix's 10 Days of Pride.

For once, people weren't at an event just for the unlimited food and booze that comes with admission.

These sugary parfaits kept guests dancing all night (or, in some cases, kept us from sleeping all night).

Sure, guests indulged in a little Barefoot Bubbly and took turns pretending they hadn't already swiped three dessert cups, two fudge cookies and a handful of brownie cubes from the catering table. But Sugar & Champagne proved to be more of a social networking event. Everybody knew everybody else -- at least by proxy -- which resulted in enough hugs and air kisses to full up Phoenix's good cheer bank for the coming year.

These naughty nuns came dressed up just for the Hell of it.

Food was limited to a table of mini parfaits, brownies, cookies and fruit skewers from Arcadia Farms and one booth of rich, creamy gelato from Monster's Gelato at 7th St. and Glendale Ave. With fro-yo eclipsing gelato in popularity these days, I was happy to see Monster's there pimping their dark chocolate, New York cheesecake and bourbon-vanilla varieties. All were delicious, according to guests leaving the sample table. (I could only finish one of these full-size desserts. Bummer!) 

Monster's New York Strawberry Cheesecake flavor impressed this former New Yorker.

​There were more food-related goodies to be found at the auction table: fondue sets, bottles of champagne, gift certificates to notable restaurants including Pavle Milic's FnB. I even spotted a set of Lon Christopher's Sake to Me marinades, available locally at Duck & Decanter and AJ's grocery stores. Lon's not a chef; he's actually a tennis pro at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. Seems everyone's getting into the food biz these days!  


The auction was a cool way for attendees to donate extra money to Aunt Rita's, which dispersed the proceeds among 19 AIDS research and education programs, and go home with something extra sweet (other items included jewelry, original art and highly coveted sex therapy sessions!). After much of the catered desserts, champagne and gelato had been devoured, guests partied the night away -- making for a delicious ending to this last event of Aunt Rita's fundraising season.

Candidates for Emperor and Empress of the Phoenix Pride Parade. 


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