Galaxy Gala

Arizona Science Center gala packs the house for annual fundraising dinner

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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. 

 

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Galaxy Gala

Guests turned out 500 strong for the Arizona Science Center's annual Galaxy Gala on Feb. 9. The party was held at the Center and raised $456,000 to support the Center’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational programs.   The theme of this year’s gala was Carnevale D’Italia – A Celebration of Innovation. The evening […]

Guests turned out 500 strong for the Arizona Science Center's annual Galaxy Gala on Feb. 9. The party was held at the Center and raised $456,000 to support the Center’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational programs.

 

The theme of this year’s gala was Carnevale D’Italia – A Celebration of Innovation. The evening served to unveil the Arizona premiere of the featured exhibition Da Vinci – the Genius and included a raffle, cocktail reception, dinner and dancing. After dinner, there was also a presentation in the Dorrance Planetarium.

 

Sue Glawe, vice president of community relations for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona chaired the event. The Arizona Republic and JP Morgan Chase were the sponsors. 

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Galaxy Gala

The Arizona Science Center’s gala, Starry Starry Night, served as the North American debut of Van Gogh Alive – The Exhibition, a multi-media interpretation of Van Gogh’s artwork, showcasing the intersection of science and art in a whole new way. Guests weren’t disappointed as many stayed in the gallery throughout the cocktail hour. Some enjoyed […]

The Arizona Science Center’s gala, Starry Starry Night, served as the North American debut of Van Gogh Alive – The Exhibition, a multi-media interpretation of Van Gogh’s artwork, showcasing the intersection of science and art in a whole new way. Guests weren’t disappointed as many stayed in the gallery throughout the cocktail hour. Some enjoyed the hands-on opportunity with other exhibits as well.

 

Dinner featured sliced beef tenderloin on a bed of egg noodles with burgundy sauce, provided by M Catering. During the dinner hour, Nicole Enriquez, a junior at Bioscience High School and a Science Center intern, spoke about the opportunities the center has afforded her. 

 

After dinner, Toronto-based Michael Kaeshammer entertained with his vocals and piano mastery, accompanied by drummer Mark McLean and bassist Marc Rogers.

 

The room, designed by Flora Bella, was awash in brilliant blue and tables were topped with blue cloths and alternating centerpieces of tall vases of white flowers, cylindrical vases filled with water and white orchids topped with lamp shades, and lower centerpieces also in blue and white. 

 

Phoenix Motor Company donated the popular raffle item – a 2012 Mercedes-Benz 250 Coupe, won by Daryl Furuyama. The raffle raised more than $92,000, and proceeds will be used to support a new Fund-A-Bus initiative, which will provide free transportation to schools that qualify and wish to visit the center. Dionne Najafi chaired the event.

 

Photos by Ben Arnold

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