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The Arizona Agricultural Education/FFA Foundation is dedicated to providing expanded educational opportunities for agricultural education and the FFA.
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Guide to Your Blue & Gold Gala Experience

Thank you...

... for joining us for the Blue & Gold Gala, which is sure to be "The BIGGEST Night in Arizona Agriculture." This guide is designed to provide our honored guests with information needed to make the evening most enjoyable! We are expecting 600 guests! Only nine tables remain! Thank you for coming!

Table hosts: please submit your guest names at your earliest convenience here > SUBMIT GUEST NAMES (or you may email them to Neil Schneider)

Blue & Gold Gala date: January 27, 2018 from 6 PM to 10:30 PM

 Start time: 6:00 PM ~ Important! ~ The excitement starts at 6:00 PM. (We encourage you to start checking in at 5:45 PM) Please allow at least ten minutes to park at the Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass. 

Location: Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass Akimel Grand Ballroom (NOT the one with the casino). 
5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85226 (Print driving directions)

Attire: The Gala attire is cocktail / semi-formal. This is not intended to be a 'stuffy' event.

Arrival: When you arrive at the hotel, you will see the ballrooms before you see the main Sheraton lobby. Look for the drop off area and parking is near the ballrooms. Proceed to the Akimel Grand Ballroom.

Check in / Registration: Simply provide your name/organization, and you will be provided with your table assignment and a bidder number. You may also securely link your credit card to your bidder number with our Express Check Out to expedite your silent or live auction purchases or contributions and checkout FAST at the conclusion of the Gala. Checks are always welcome too. 

Photo booth: Please stop at the red carpet photo booth with your associates. We will text message your photo to you immediately for posting on social media. Our Gala hashtag is #BlueAndGoldGala2018

Reception & Silent Auction: We are fortunate to have more than 150 amazing silent auction items for you to stroll through as you socialize, mingle, enjoy passed Hors d’oeuvres and enjoy our reception entertainment. We will have an exciting raffle called the 'Pot Of Gold Raffle' where you can win up to $10,000 to spend during our incredible live auction later in the evening. See one of the State FFA Officers dressed in their famous blue FFA jackets to purchase a Pot of Gold ticket. Our silent auction does NOT run during dinner like most, all lots are closed out before dinner starts.

Sleeping rooms at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass: - Book before January 9 to get the special $199 rate at this link > BOOK ROOM (Rooms will go up over $350 a night after January 9)


  • Our Emcee - Jan D'Atri - a well-known and respected Emmy award-winning television personality, radio talk show host, newspaper columnist and cookbook author.
  • Remarks from Stefani Smallhouse, president of Arizona Farm Bureau our presenting sponsor.
  • Presentation of the Blue & Gold Award to Ken and Judy Williams of Gilbert.
  • Presentation of the 2017 Agriculturist of the Year to Steven Bales of Buckeye.
  • Musical entertainment that is sure to make you sing and put a smile on your face. Performances during the reception and during dinner.
  • Presentation of a Platinum Emblem Recognition to the Arizona Pork Council, Farm Credit Services Southwest and Salt River Project.
  • Live Auction & Paddle Raiser ~ Jeff S. Maynard Benefit Auctioneer.
  • After party entertainment - when the Gala breaks, the music keeps going. Join us in the ballroom for more music from our featured entertainment and your favorite dancing tunes. 

Payment: If you have not made payment for your table or sponsorship, you will be sent an invoice, or you can submit your payment to Arizona FFA Foundation, PO Box 33455, Phoenix, AZ 85067. 

Dietary needs: If you have special dietary needs, are requesting a vegetarian option, or allergies, please alert the Gala staff through this link. There will be no nuts in any food served at the event, but we suggest you mention all allergies to your server immediately when you are seated. We are aware of at least one severe nut allergy, so please be mindful of that during the event. Shrimp will be served with the salad. Please advise of any allergies.

Gator Raffle: While we will be drawing the Grand Prize for our John Deere Gator Raffle during the Gala. We ask that you purchase Gator tickets online prior to your arrival if possible. The Gator is valued at $10,000 or the winner may use the $10,000 as a credit at an Arizona Stotz Equipment Store. Raffle tickets can be purchased here - www.FFAraffle.org. For every online ticket, we will hand write your ticket on paper so all raffle entries are identical.

If you are interested in providing an item for our silent or live auctions, please contact us HERE

If you have any questions, or need special accommodations, please contact Neil Schneider, our Director of Development, HERE.


The Blue & Gold Gala is presented by:









Empire CAT AG

Farm Credit Services Southwest

Pinal 40


ASU WP Carry - The Morrison School of Agribusiness

Electrical District 8


Entertainment Sponsor: Sanderson Ford 

Gala Downloads:

Download invitation to email your guests - CLICK HERE

Download Gala Table Host Informational Packet - CLICK HERE 

Driving directions to the Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass:

Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass Map

Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass (not the casino)
5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd, Chandler, AZ 85226

From East
Take Interstate 60 or Loop 202 to Interstate 10 East.
Take the exit for Wild Horse Pass Boulevard.
Turn right.
Head west for one mile and pass through the 48th Street intersection.
Continue on the resort main drive for two miles and follow resort signs to the Akimel Grand Ballroom.

From South
Travel towards Phoenix on Interstate 10 West.
Exit at Wild Horse Pass Boulevard.
Turn left onto Wild Horse Pass Boulevard.
The resort entrance is two miles ahead.

From Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Follow Sky Harbor Airport signs to Interstate 10 East.
Continue for 11.5 miles on I-10 East.
Exit at Wild Horse Pass Boulevard.
Turn right.
Follow signs to the resort entrance, then to the Akimel Grand Ballroom.

From North
Take Interstate 17 South to Interstate 10 East.
Exit Wild Horse Pass Boulevard and stay right.
Continue on the resort main drive for two miles and follow resort signs to the Akimel Grand Ballroom.

From Tucson, AZ (West)
Travel on Interstate 10 West.
Exit at Wild Horse Pass Boulevard.
Turn left onto Wild Horse Pass Boulevard.
The main entrance is approximately two miles ahead. Proceed to the Akimel Grand Ballroom.