Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 3:08 am | Fair 56º


Gala Helps Give Wing to Museum Programs

Aerialists greet gala guests as they enter Fleischmann Auditorium.
Aerialists greet gala guests as they enter Fleischmann Auditorium. (Baron Spafford)

At its 18th Annual Mission Creek Gala May 13, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History raised $415,000 to support nature and science education programs for schoolchildren, which serve more than 20,000 students a year.

The event theme, Bugclub, offered an entomological experience, inspired by the museum’s upcoming summer exhibit Bugs ... Outside the Box, opening May 27 at the museum, 2559 Puesta del Sol.

Gala Chair Stacey Byers and her committee of volunteers and staff created a magical night with experiences designed to better acquaint guests with the museum's mission.

Carryng out the entomology theme, during the cocktail hour, guests has a chance to hold various insects and sample an edible cricket, meal worm, and other edible insects.

The Beauty and the Beast raffle included a diamond-and-sterling silver bangle, donated by Truong & Co. Jewelers, as well as the opportunity name a newly discovered species of beetle, which was facilitated by museum entomologist Matthew Gimmel.

While guests enjoyed dinner in Fleischmann Auditorium, aerialists provided overhead entertainment, flying like bugs from the auditorium's rafters.

Palmer G. Jackson, Jr. honorary trustee and long-time museum emcee, welcomed the crowd and offered some insect humor.

Museum president/CEO Luke Swetland executed a successful appeal for additional dollars bringing the total raised at the event $415,000.

Committee members for the gala included: Carolyn Chandler, Hanna Dreier, Sheri Eckmann, Venesa Faciane, Elisabeth Fowler, Caroline Grange, Tamara Jensen, Emily Jones, Bobbie Kinnear, Patty MacFarlane and Meridith Moore.

Also, Nanette Nevins, Susan Parker, Kimi Rice, Luke Swetland and Pam Valeski.

— Caroline Grange for Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.


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