LOS ANGELES, June 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, May, 16, 2014, more than 750 guests attended the California Science Center's 16th Annual Discovery Ball. As part of the festivities, guests experienced an ancient city at the height of the Roman Empire as they previewed the west coast premiere of Pompeii: The Exhibition. From the Science Center, guests were transported by "chariot" to the peristyle of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where they were treated to an al fresco, Romanesque feast. While dining they were entertained by a harpist and pan flautist, followed by a parade of gladiators who lit the historic Olympic torch.
The annual black-tie gala, a premier philanthropic event in Los Angeles, raised more than $1.35 million to benefit the California Science Center Foundation through table sponsorships, a live auction conducted by NBC4 weathercaster Fritz Coleman, and a raffle for a Lexus RC F performance coupe. Science Center President, Jeffrey Rudolph noted that, "Proceeds from this fundraiser enable us to continue providing exceptional science learning and education opportunities for our community."
The Science Center's annual gala has been recognized as a "virtual who's who of the Los Angeles business community" by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Among the gala guests were community and business leaders as well as elected officials at local, state and federal levels including: Congresswoman Maxine Waters; California State Controller John Chiang; California State Senator Holly Mitchell; Assemblyman Reggie Jones Sawyer; Assemblyman Richard Bloom; and Assemblyman Steve Bradford; Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas; Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson; Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price; former astronaut John D. Olivas; and celebrities Debbie Allen and her husband, former NBA star Norm Nixon.
Gala co-chairs Anne Shen Smith, past Chairman and CEO of Southern California Gas Company and Robert S. Carter, Senior Vice President – Automotive Operations of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. presided over the program.
A cocktail reception early in the evening evoked a lush Pompeii villa garden. Another highlight of the gala was the transformation of the Samuel Oschin Pavilion into an out-of-this-world night club with Space Shuttle Endeavour as the centerpiece. Guests also enjoyed a private screening of the IMAX film "Forces of Nature."
Top donors to the Discovery Ball were Wells Fargo and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
Located just south of downtown Los Angeles in Exposition Park, the California Science Center is one of Southern California's premier family destinations. The Science Center's mission is to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences and has welcomed over 25 million guests since its grand opening in February of 1998.
California Science Center Foundation
SOURCE California Science Center