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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Noche para los Niños lights up Papago Park

Dancers in glittering traditional costumes and sugar-skull skeleton makeup swayed in front of the wide-eyed crowd. The courtyard was aglow with shimmering string lights and vibrant colors accentuated by bold black tones. On the evening of November 4, 2021, hundreds of guests flocked to the Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park for the third annual Noche para los Niños – Spanish for “Night for the Children.”

On this chilly Thursday evening, the Arizona Heritage Center was aglow with the Dia de los Muertos-inspired celebration from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Many attendees were dressed up in skeleton makeup, wearing formal black attire with brightly colored accents. The guests were free to move around the indoor and outdoor spaces as they pleased, taking in all of the festivities, food and fun that the night had to offer.

Noche para los Niños is a yearly fundraising event that is geared towards adults and put on by  Kids in Focus, a Phoenix nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children in Arizona. Proceeds from the event go to benefit Kids in Focus’s mentoring programs for children at risk. This year, the event raised $124,000.

The evening was full of festivities for guests to enjoy. Live music performances by Thano & Lolo and Nate Nathan & the MacDaddy-O’s were punctuated by upbeat and high-energy dances. Contortionists, jugglers, stilt walkers captivated the crowd as well. To continue the awe-inspiring experience, tarot card readers were available to give attendees readings throughout the night.

Food and drink stations were scattered throughout the event venue, offering guests the chance to taste the best of the Phoenix food scene. The options were almost endless: guests could sample selections from Daily Dose Kitchen & Bar, Eggstasy, Los Sombreros, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Postino Arcadia, Chef Ryan Moran, Schmooze Bar & Breakfast, Someburros, the Giving Tree Café and The Vig, to name a few.

Noche para los Niños featured a silent auction that went to benefit the children helped by Kids in Focus. The virtual and in-person options for bidding allowed as many attendees to enter and participate as possible. The evening also showcased extraordinary photographs and pieces of artwork of at-risk children whose difficult lives have been touched by Kids in Focus – turning their pain into something beautiful. Kids in Focus’s intensive photography mentoring program helps children in Maricopa County heal from traumatic experiences through creative expression.

Stephanie Nowak was the event’s Chair this year. The beloved Honorary Chairs of the evening, the late Judd Herberger and his wife, Billie Jo, were recognized at the event for their contributions to Kids in Focus and their dedication to helping children in need in Arizona.

The event was sponsored by Momentum Financial Partners, Molina Fine Jewelers, PourMasters and ProEm Art Intersection, Christy Pylman, Retsy Real Estate, Equitable Home Mortgage, Kim E Gwozdz Provenance, Ira & Chery Gaines, Mexican Art Imports and Stem Swag.

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