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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
Media Contact:  Shell Amegah 213.744-7446
Pager number: 323.525-4529
February 13, 2001
California Science Center Celebrates Third Anniversary With Discovery Ball 2001

Evening Highlighted by The Scientist of the Year Award

Los Angeles, CA - The California Science Center commemorated its third anniversary with a black-tie gala event Saturday, February 3, 2001 in Exposition Park.
Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, left and Executive Director of the Science Center Jeffrey Rudolph on the right, present the California Scientist of the Year Award to Dr. Geoffrey Marcy.
Discovery Ball 2001 celebrated the California Science Center's success in providing fun, memorable science learning experiences for more than 4.5 million guests since opening in February 1998. As a highlight of the evening Dr. Geoffrey Marcy, Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Center for Integrative Planetary Science at the University of California at Berkeley, was presented the California Scientist of the Year Award by Science Center Executive Director Jeffrey Rudolph and Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante.
Former Governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmajian, former Speaker of the Assembly Antonio Villaraigosa, State Controller Kathleen Connell, City Attorney Jimmy Hahn, state legislators, local elected officials, business and community leaders were among the assemblage of 750 guests. The event raised over $620,000 with the proceeds designated to benefit the education programs and exhibits of the nonprofit California Science Center.
An Evening of Mystery, Illusion and Magic was the theme for the black-tie affair, which also celebrated the culmination of Magic: The Science of Illusion, a popular exhibition that leaves the Science Center on February 28th to begin its national tour. The reception began at 6 p.m. and was followed by a brief program. A Toyota Prius, donated courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales USA, was won during an opportunity drawing by guest Ronald F. Clark, President of Printco Graphics.
Magician Bob Borgia, who performs frequently at the Magic Castle, and an acrobatic troupe entertained guests. Following an elegant dinner, which was served on all three levels of the Science Center, the festivities continued with a viewing of Wild California in the Science Center's IMAX Theater and dancing in the Donald P. Loker Conference Center. The Center, transformed into the "Loker Magic Parlor," featured colorful tents where guests had their fortunes told and palms read.
As guests retreated to their cars at the end of the evening, they participated in the first public viewing of an artfully decorated truck that will take BrainWorks on Tour, a new "Science Comes Alive" interactive theater program, directly into area schools next month. A grant for the purchase of the vehicle was provided by United Airlines.
The Discovery Ball 2001 dinner committee was co-chaired by George Pla, President and CEO of Cordoba Corporation and Jill Sheffield, managing director with United Airlines. The event was generously underwritten, in part, by Northrop Grumman and United Airlines.
The California Scientist of the Year Award, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, honored Dr. Marcy for his research on the detection of extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs. The award, which has been given each year since 1951 by the California Science Center (formerly the California Museum of Science and Industry) and its non-profit affiliate, the California Science Center Foundation, recognizes the accomplishments of established and rising scientific leaders in California. Eleven scientists who have received the California Scientist of the Year Award have gone on to become Nobel Laureates. For more information on the award, please visit our California Scientist of the Year pages.
The California Science Center continues in its role as a place of discovery and learning for families with several projects in view for this year, including:
  • the local March 16th premiere of the new IMAX film, Journey Into Amazing Caves, which features a suspenseful expedition by a new breed of scientists who boldly explore the Earth's last true frontier: caves so remote that exploring them is like visiting another planet;
  • the March 30th opening of a touring exhibit, titled Masters of the Night, which brings the mystery surrounding bats out of the dark;
  • and the upcoming Summer Science Education Programs for students, which offers family outings and workshops for parents with young children.
Plans are currently underway for the 4th Annual Discovery Ball, February 2, 2002, when the Science Center will host another sensational evening.
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