Space Center Houston’s 25th Anniversary Galaxy Gala Is Star-Studded Night
HOUSTON, April 1, 2017 – Space Center Houston’s spectacular gala raised $850,000 for the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Friday night at the Hilton Americas – Houston. The star-studded Galaxy Gala was led by chairs Keith and Alice Mosing and Kim and Dan Tutcher and honorary co-chairs astronaut Scott Kelly and Amiko Kauderer along with astronaut Mark Kelly and former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.
The stellar evening celebrated the nonprofit’s 25th anniversary year and its dedication to inspiring people with hands-on science learning and to reaching underserved students.
“We have a powerful opportunity to bring science to life and provide access to experts in space exploration through our educational programs,” said William T. Harris, president and CEO of the science and space learning center. “Thank you to our generous sponsors and donors whose contributions help us provide exceptional learning experiences to current and future explorers.”
The gala honored longtime supporters Susie and Pat Cunningham for their significant contributions to the center, including leadership as co-chairs of the capital campaign to fund the one-of-a-kind Independence Plaza multi-exhibit complex.
A pre-gala area wowed the 600 guests with a museum experience featuring an array of artifacts from Space Center Houston and NASA Johnson Space Center. From advanced space technology to innovations designed to assist people on Earth, the display included a rare meteorite, a Spidernaut, an exoskeleton and a hybrid reality technology demonstration used to train astronauts.
The interstellar showcase captivated the crowd with an out-of-this world spacesuit collection narrated by astronaut Mike Foreman and JSC Associate Director Melanie Saunders. The exciting orbital creations included Orion prototype suits, launch and entry suits, planetary surface exploration suits and three spacesuit replicas handpainted by young cancer patients participating in the University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital’s Space Suit Art Project.
The dance floor was packed as the Lt. Dan Band rocked the stage, led by award-winning actor Gary Sinise, who starred in the film “Apollo 13.” Supernova NASA appearances were made by Johnson Space Center Director and astronaut Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go into space; honorary co-chair astronaut Scott Kelly, retired Gemini and Apollo Flight Director Gene Kranz and commercial crew astronaut Bob Behnken.
Star-studded guests included Betsy and Fred Griffin, Dot and Walt Cunningham, Lisa and Jerry Simon, Gena and Chuck Norris, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Joan and Larry Del Papa, Leslie and Adam Schneider, Joy and Stewart Morris Jr., Lorrie Foreman, Bob and Gracie Cavnar, Walter Johnson, Ann Parks Stallings and John Pointdexter.
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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit science and space learning center with extensive educational programs. Space Center Houston is the cornerstone of its mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration. The center draws more than 1 million visitors annually and generates a $73 million annual economic impact in the greater Houston area. Space Center Houston is Houston’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate and the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center. More than 200,000 youth from around the world visit the center annually. SOURCE: Manned Space Flight Education Foundation
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