March 18, 2013
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On
Saturday, March 9, 2013
at the California Science Center's 15
annual Discovery Ball, nearly 850 guests celebrated "Space Exploration: Past, Present and Future". As part of the festivities, guests previewed "Mission 26: The Big Endeavour" a photographic exhibition which opened on
Monday, March 11
, and dined under the wings of Space Shuttle Endeavour in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion.
The annual black-tie gala, a philanthropic event, raised more than
to benefit the California Science Center Foundation through table sponsorships, a live auction conducted by KTLA Morning News Co-anchor
, and a raffle for a 2013 Lexus GS 450h. Science Center President,
notes that, "The 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
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:
; California State Controller
; California State Senator
; California Assembly Members Richard Bloom,
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; former astronauts
; and celebrities
The evening's honorary chair,
of the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation, was a featured speaker and gala co-chairs
Raul A. Anaya
, Bank of
America and Michelle C. Kerrick
, Deloitte & Touch LLP presided over the evening program.
A highlight of the program was when
James E. Lentz
, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales,
, Inc. presented the Science Center Foundation with keys to the Toyota Tundra that pulled Endeavour over the 405 freeway bridge on its journey to the Science Center in
. It will be on display in the Science Center parking lot as an exhibit where guests can lift the truck by using a giant lever.
The evening check-in and reception served as the beginning of a virtual time-line where guests experienced an ambiance reminiscent of the year 1961, a time that reflects America's newfound fascination with space travel. After the dinner program, which took place in the present, guests were visually transported to the year 2099 where they enjoyed a "Tron" inspired, futuristic nightclub.