LOS ANGELES, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, May 18, 2012, the California Science Center's 14th annual Discovery Ball transported nearly 700 guests back in time to an ancient Egyptian celebration complete with an Alexandrian emporium, royal procession and feast fit for kings and queens. Guests were also the first to preview the west coast premiere of the exhibition Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt, which brings history to life through priceless artifacts from her world.
The annual black-tie gala, a premier philanthropic event in Los Angeles, raised nearly $1.2 million to benefit the California Science Center Foundation through table sponsorships, live and silent auctions, and a raffle for a Tesla Model S – the world's first premium electric sedan. Science Center President, Jeffrey Rudolph notes that, "The proceeds from this fundraiser enable us to continue providing exceptional science learning and education opportunities for our community."
A highlight of the auction, emceed by NBC4 Weathercaster, Fritz Coleman, was the Hands-On Science Camp scholarship packages, which garnered $45,000 to provide 360 students from low-income families the opportunity to attend a weeklong class at the Science Center this summer.
A feature of the dinner program was Rudolph's introduction of philanthropist Lynda Oschin, whom he thanked for the transformational gift from the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation and the naming of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, future home of Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center. Mrs. Oschin is the widow of entrepreneur, explorer and philanthropist, Samuel Oschin and Chair of the Board and Secretary of the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation.
"We are tremendously grateful to receive this extraordinary gift, which is an investment in the future of science learning. Combined with the generous support already provided by foundations, individuals and corporations throughout our community, we are now close to the halfway point in achieving our $200 million EndeavourLA Campaign goal," said Rudolph.
Among the gala guests were community and business leaders as well as elected officials at local, state and federal levels including: Former Governors George Deukmejian and Gray Davis; California State Controller John Chiang; California Senator Rod Wright; California Assembly Members Mike Davis and Betsy Butler; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel; Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson; and Los Angeles City Council Member Tom LaBonge.
The Discovery Ball Committee was co-chaired by California Science Center Foundation Trustees Pierre P. Habis, Senior Executive Vice President of Community Banking, Union Bank and Paula A. Madison, CEO, Los Angeles Sparks. Top donors to the Discovery Ball included: Edison International, Live Nation and Union Bank.
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 and ranked 3rd among Southern California's Top 100 Benefits according to BizBash.
Guests began the evening at a cocktail reception in an emporium marketplace, simulating the hub of world commerce in the time of Cleopatra. A festive procession to dinner was led by costumed actors representing the period. Guests dined in ambiance reminiscent of Cleopatra's magnificent barge where she hosted a feast in Tarsus for Mark Antony. The evening culminated with a night of dancing in the "Midnight at the Oasis" night club.
Musical entertainment was provided by Dwight Kennedy Music. Other Discovery Ball vendors of note included: lighting by Images by Lighting, custom fabricated decor by Rrivre Works; floral decor by CJ Matsumoto & Sons; costumed actors for the processions and stage by Zen Arts; draping by crdzines; and catering by Kensington Caterers.
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 20 million guests since its grand opening in February of 1998.
About the California Science Center
The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive. The Science Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Please check the Science Center web site for schedule updates at www.californiasciencecenter.org.
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SOURCE California Science Center