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3/29/2013 3:25 P.M. ET

Seventh annual Evening On the Diamond raises a record $1.8 million

Fundraising gala, presented by the University of Phoenix, will greatly impact education and benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that last night’s sold-out Evening on the Diamond fundraising event at Chase Field raised a record $1.8 million to benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. Overall, the event has raised $10 million to be given back to Arizona charities and non-profit organizations since 2007 and has been ranked by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the largest fundraising events in the Valley.

“This year’s event was truly magical and to surpass last year’s total was simply amazing,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “We couldn’t do this without support from our great community partners who share the same mission as the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation to improve the lives of kids throughout the Valley and the state of Arizona.”

The event's live auction raised more than $800,000 and featured one-of-a-kind experiences including a trip for four to the MLB All-Star Game in New York, a romantic vacation for two to Florence and Venice, Italy, a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to Buenos Aires, Argentina, a 2013 Mustang GT courtesy of Sanderson Ford, a wine experience in Sonoma, Calif. for two couples, and an ultimate D-backs Road Trip experience for four. Other live auction items include an ultimate fantasy baseball game for 25 people at Chase Field and a his and hers luxury diamond package from Addison Taylor Fine Jewelry and Ernst Benz including a custom designed ladies diamond pendant and a one-of-a-kind exclusive men’s Swiss timepiece.

The theme of last night’s gala was “delivering dreams for kids who need us.” Pepsi Bottling General Manager Ron Goodson, and his wife Anita, served as dinner co-chairs for the evening. In addition, University of Phoenix President Dr. Bill Pepicello and his wife, Kris, welcomed guests as they entered the event sponsored by University of Phoenix.

Senator Jon Kyl received the Lee T. Hanley Community Leadership Award from the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation for his philanthropic endeavors to assist Arizona charities and the community throughout the Valley. Hanley was the CEO of Vestar and received the award last year before he lost his battle with cancer shortly thereafter.

More than 700 people were in attendance and enjoyed dinner on the infield of Chase Field followed by a live performance by multi-platinum band Chicago, who started the night with “Make Me Smile” which was the band’s first Top 10 record and peaked at number nine on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970, and continued with several hits throughout the evening, including “Saturday in the Park”.

The D-backs and Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation gave back more than $4 million in 2012, including support to build Aaron Hill Field, the 33rd field in the “Diamonds Back” field building program that was dedicated on Monday in Parker, Ariz.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.