The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service at its annual Gala Evening, a benefit for the museum on Friday, December 2.
“Tribute to the National Parks—A Centennial Celebration” will feature National Park trivia and prizes, National Park-inspired cuisine by Rosa’s Catering, music from the Oak Ridge High School Choral Ensemble, an exhibition of children’s photographs from the parks, and a surprise for Gala attendees.
The Gala will be an official National Park Service Centennial Event. In honor of that designation, the museum will offer free admission Saturday and Sunday, December 3 and 4, inviting the public to view the “Parks-in-Focus” National Parks photography exhibit in the Imagination Gallery. Photos of area parks taken by girls from Girls Inc. of Oak Ridge will be shown in the exhibit.
Guests are invited to come dressed to represent a favorite National Park or in semi-formal attire to the Gala, to be held from 5:30-9:30 p.m. December 2 at the museum, which is at 461 West Outer Drive in Oak Ridge.
The museum board chose the National Park theme for the Gala because of shared interests and goals of the Children’s Museum and the National Park Service.
“The Children’s Museum is so dedicated to history, and preserving history is something the National Parks are committed to,” said museum board member Ronnie Bogard. Oak Ridge recently welcomed the Manhattan Project National Historical Park here, and the Children’s Museum helps visitors focus on regional history with it “A Day in Appalachia” exhibit and its “Difficult Decisions” exhibit, among others.
Both the parks and the museum are dedicated to getting children outdoors and involved in healthy activities, as well as hands-on learning, Bogard said.
Niki Nicholas, park superintendent for the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and for the Obed Wild and Scenic River, will be a guest at the Gala and share comments on the National Park Service Centennial.
National Park Trivia will be led by Don Barger, senior regional director of the National Parks Conservation Association Southeast Regional Office, which works to protect the special parks of this region.
Clinton auctioneer Bear Stephenson, of Stephenson Realty and Auction, will conduct a lively live auction, and many items will be offered in a silent auction, as well. The live auction will feature a Disney World trip, virtual reality headphones, a pottery piece by Bill Capshaw, and jewelry from Karen’s Jewelers, among other items.
Gene Patterson, of CNS-Y-12, will be the Gala’s master of ceremonies. Mural artist Gale Hinton is creating a National Parks mural at the entrance to the Gala evening.
Gala Committee volunteers are Sandra Barry, Tom Beehan, Ronnie Bogard, Suzan Bowman, Phil Brooks, Kay Brookshire, Larry Burkholder, Frances Drake, Martha Hart, Lee McGetrick, Mike Morris, and Veronica O’Hearn, working with Museum staff members Beth Shea, executive director; Dawn Van Eek, business manager; Rachel Reagan, event coordinator; and Jaclyn Waymire, administrative assistant. The Knoxville Area Model Railroaders serve as volunteers the evening of the Gala.
More than two dozen individuals and businesses are sponsoring the Gala, the annual fund raiser for the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. The Gala supports the museum’s mission of educating children of all ages through play and discovery. The Children’s Museum offers summer camps, classes throughout the year, after-school programs and experiences in history, the arts, science, and cultures, serving children and families throughout the East Tennessee region.
Tickets are $125 per person, with a discount of $25 if purchased by November 14. For more information about tickets, corporate tables, or sponsorships, call Beth Shea at (865) 482-1074, extension 104, or Jaclyn Waymire at extension 115. Tickets may be purchased on the Museum website at bit.ly/cmorgala2016.
This press release was submitted by Kay Brookshire.
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