Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

April 15, 2020

Dear Tohono Chul Family,

Thank you for your understanding, kindness and devotion in these unimaginable times. Your outpouring of love and support has been absolutely overwhelming.

You will be hearing from me periodically to update you about Tohono Chul as we seek to minimize the effects and mitigate the losses of the COVID19 pandemic.

Survival: First and foremost, the very real and present focus is simply to survive. Much like individuals, Tohono Chul must hunker down, stick to the basics, strive to be healthy and wait out the virus. We are working hard to slash all unnecessary expense, simplify the budget, and furlough those whose meaningful work ceased with the closure to the public. It is grueling and painful work and not a job that any Executive Director would ever imagine undertaking.

Resilience: Born from the Wilson family gift, Tohono Chul is a dedicated, disciplined family, just like its benefactors. The iconic Queen of the Night, Tohono Chul’s emblematic desert plant, provides grand illustration of what resilience is going to look like on the ground. As the rest of the Sonoran Desert blooms wildly into spring, this humble unassuming spiny stick of a plant is building up for its magnificent, mid-summer reveal. Like our grand Queen, Tohono Chul is keenly focused on positioning for a glorious comeback to serve you and the community stronger than ever before.

Hope: While some emergency municipal and federal resources may be forthcoming, you are the true and sustaining hope. Your inspiring messages buoy staff and volunteers who are uncertain and frightened. Caring for ourselves, our families, neighbors and the community. Giving time and money to secure food, health and well-being— AND understanding, advocating and supporting nature, art and culture. You live the mission and embody the hope that in our dogged and determined resilience– Tohono Chul will not only survive, but thrive.

You are used to hearing from me twice a year. Once at year-end and once in the spring. This year, you will not receive my second letter. We are saving nearly $9,000 by not printing and mailing the spring letter— which originally outlined optimistic plans and progress.

Your help has never been more vital. Amidst the urgent needs of our community- crisis health care, food, shelter, I invite you to give to Tohono Chul. Your support, dedication and generosity is crucial to the very survival of Tohono Chul. If these challenging times allow you to make your gift—no time has been more crucial.

You will be thrilled to learn that the family foundation of a dear friend of Tohono Chul will match your gifts up to $150,000. Like you she loves Tohono Chul and hopes to sustain us through the COVID19 pandemic.

I invite you to make your gift today. You can go online to tohonochul.org or simply send your gift to Tohono Chul, 7366 N. Paseo del Norte, Tucson, AZ 85704. If this global crisis presents challenges for you and your family, I understand. Please know that we are deeply grateful for all you do.

My caring thoughts and gratitude remain with you,

Christine Conte, PhD

Executive Director