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The theme Believe made for a fun evening for the 520 guests at the Arizona Science Center’s annual fundraising dinner Feb. 8. Before dinner, they enjoyed a visit to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibit, where they saw a full-size, animated replica of the world’s tallest man, a portrait of Einstein made out of toast and other displays that explore our weird natural world. Throughout the evening, performers on stilts delighted guests. Attire for the evening? Believe it or not: black-tie and tennis shoes.
The committee used the theme to present a dinner that had its own illusions: The dinner’s first course was sashimi – or was it? What appeared to be thinly sliced tuna was actually ginger watermelon. The Caprese salad included fresh mozzarella, baby basil and heirloom tomatoes – but when you cut into the Mozzarella, you found a tomato-basil foam. No tricks involved with the delicious main course, though, which featured grilled veal chop. And dessert? Alternating guests were served a chocolate dessert, and the remaining guests received bacon and eggs. Actually the eggs were lemon cake and the bacon was candy.
The dining room, designed by Dennis Thompson, White House Design Studio, took on a mad scientist look, with neon colors and flasks of squishy bubbles atop tables supported by colorful under-lighted cubes. During dinner, ommittee members donned mad-scientist eye glasses.
Fittingly, the entertainment for the evening was Gerard Senehi, the ExperiMentalist. Senehi seemingly bent and levitated a wine glass, twisted silverware with a wave of his hand and more. Believe the unbelievable? Guests tried not to, but he was convincing.
Melani Walton, Linda Pope and Christi Beyer-Warner chaired the festive occasion.