Tracey and Larry Lytle at the Helm of Galaxy Gala MMXVIII

Arizona Science Center gala to transport guests to 79 A.D. for A Night in Pompeii

From shark attacks, gridiron glory and color-changing cocktails to the genius of Da Vinci, Arizona Science Center’s Galaxy Gala historically promises stimulating surprises – and fun – for guests. This year, the committee is set to raise the bar. Again. Think Vesuvius, 79 A.D. On Feb. 3, Galaxy Gala MMXVIII will feature A Night In Pompeii. The theme coincides with Pompeii The Exhibition, now on display at the Arizona Science Center. The center is one of a limited number of institutions around the country selected to host the exhibition, which is on loan from the National Archaeological Museum of Naples in Italy.

Terry and Larry Lytle at Teen Lifeline’s Connections of Hope gala

Prolific Valley nonprofit supporters Tracey and Larry Lytle are chairing the occasion, with Susie Wesley and McKenna Wesley as their vice chairs.

In Tracey’s words, she and Larry are “boots on the ground” when it comes to supporting Valley nonprofits. Larry has been engaged in philanthropy since he was just out of college, when he started his first nonprofit organization in Indianapolis. A financial advisor, he is certified as a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy and speaks to individuals and groups on how to make a difference through their giving. Tracey has been rolling up her sleeves to chair events, create centerpieces and bring new faces into the philanthropic fold for many years.

They put their efforts where their hearts lie: health and human services and culture. Larry has served on several Valley nonprofit boards, among them Florence Crittenton, Banner Health Foundation and Jewish Family & Children’s Services. The couple chaired Florence Crittenton’s Teaming Up for Girls Luncheon in 2014, and in her hands-on fashion, Tracey made all of the 80-some centerpieces. Last year she made the colorful butterfly-bedecked centerpieces for Desert Botanical Garden’s Dinner on the Desert. They are members of 5 Arts Circle, and lend support to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and House of Refuge in Mesa.

 

Centerpieces for Desert Botanical Garden’s 2017 Dinner on the Desert                PHOTO COURTESY DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Arizona Science Center has been part of their blended family of three sons and one daughter since they married seven years ago, and they are excited about the special opportunity for gala attendees to walk through the Pompeii exhibition, a collection of more than 200 artifacts. Larry points out that amid the selection are beautifully artistic pieces of glass and pottery in perfect condition. And there’s more: wall-sized frescoes, mosaics, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, statues, coins and body casts of adults and children.

Since there are limited artifacts at Pompeii in Italy because they are dispersed in museums, “you’d have to travel to several different collections around the world to see something of this quality,” he says.

After guests enjoy their one-on-one time with the exhibition, they can expect some fun, Tracey says.  A raffle will be held, but there will be no silent auction and no live auction. Tables will be invited to participate in the Fund-A-Bus Initiative, which will provide Arizona’s low-income elementary schools with free round-trip transportation and general admission to visit Arizona Science Center on a field trip. Each school will also receive a professional development workshop for two teachers. A DJ will keep things lively on the dance floor before, during and after dinner, and guests will enjoy the Pompeii night sky in the Dorrance Planetarium.

“The best thing we can do for any charity is to bring new people to the table,” Tracey says.

The Lytles plan not only to bring new people to the table but also to keep them there.


Galaxy Gala
Arizona Science Center
Feb. 3, 6 p.m.
For more information, click here

Pompeii The Exhibition
Arizona Science Center
Through May 28, 2018
For more information, click here

 

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