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Palm Beach  Society News  Pages 1 

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Black Tie International:
South Florida Science Museum's Golden Year



Frances Fisher and Lew Crampton

Frances Fisher and Lew Crampton
Photo by:  Lucien Capehart Photography


(Palm Beach, FL)  Fifty never looked so fabulous!  From the blinking invitations calling guests to “come fill your beaker,” to the lab-coat wearing ‘mad scientist’ servers at Café Boulud, the South Florida Science Museum’s Golden Anniversary kick off was a memorable and perfect start to the Museum’s milestone year.  Hosted by Museum trustee, Frances Fisher and her husband Jeffrey, the party honored new Museum president and CEO,
Lew Crampton, and announced a series of planned special events for 2011 – the Museum’s 50th anniversary year.
Guests entered the courtyard at the Brazilian Court on a perfect South Florida evening.  Blinking “cosmic crush” cocktails, beautiful passed hors d’oeuvres and a fountain full of special takeaways set the tone for fun among vintage Museum pictures and displays.  Nearly 200 special new and old friends of the Museum gathered to toast Crampton and learn about next year’s exciting plans.
“As parents, it’s been very special for my husband Jeff and me to experience the museum through the eyes of our six-year-old son,” said hostess Fisher.  “Harrison saw the twinkle of the constellations for the first time in the planetarium; he’s on a first name basis with all the fish and sea animals in the touch tanks and aquariums; and we credit our experiences at the Museum for sparking his curiosity about everything from dinosaurs to moon rocks.  Our son is a wonderful example of the hundreds of thousands of children in our community who have been inspired and touched by this museum for five generations.”
The South Florida Science Museum delivers entertaining and educational journeys through the many worlds of science and technology for curious minds of all ages. Located just off I-95 and Southern Blvd. in West Palm Beach, the Museum features more than 50 hands-on exhibits, a digital planetarium, freshwater and saltwater aquariums, as well as natural history exhibitions. Each year the museum welcomes more than 125,000 visitors and reaches more than 45,000 students through workshops at the museum and outreach programs to local schools. Established in 1961 by the Junior League of the Palm Beaches, the museum is dedicated to exciting curiosity and furthering the understanding and appreciation of science and technology.
In fact, according to Fisher, the Museum’s 2011 Gala, Fete du Soleil, will honor its “founding mothers” on April 1st as the Museum pays tribute to the Junior League and its influence on the museum’s growth in Palm Beach County for the past 50 years.
“The museum was born at a time when putting a man on the moon was still science fiction, but it was the Junior League of the Palm Beaches that marshaled the resources to build a visionary educational facility that opened its doors in Dreher Park in 1961,” continued Fisher.  “Joining me in the leadership of our Fete du Soleil gala is Matt Lorentzen, President of the Board; our fellow trustees, Harvey Oyer and Dale Hedrick; our Historical Chairman, Nancy Myers whose tenure with museum extends throughout its history beginning as the second President of the Board; as well as our Honorary Chairs, Sydelle Meyer and John Niblack.  The Fete du Soleil promises to be an exciting evening on Friday, April 1st at a magnificent Palm Beach estate, and we hope you will make plans to join us.”
In addition to its Golden Anniversary gala, the Museum will also collaborate with the Palm Beach Zoo and the Marshall Foundation for an eco-focused luncheon on March 25th, featuring environmental author, Richard Louv. 
“We have spent the second half of 2010 readying this Museum for great things in our milestone year,” said Crampton.  “And with a series of special activities and collaborations, we’ll be using next year’s anniversary to position the Museum so that down the road we can build a planned 12,000-square-foot expansion and begin a collaboration with the Palm Beach Zoo to make Dreher Park a destination as our region’s ‘eco park.’  These are exciting and pivotal times for the Museum and we need the community’s support to make some important changes.”
The South Florida Science Museum is located at 4801 Dreher Trail North in West Palm Beach. Museum admission is: Adults, $11.95; Seniors 62+, $10.50; and children ages three-12, $8.95, children under three years and Museum members are free. For more information about the South Florida Science Museum, Fete du Soliel, or other Golden Anniversary year activities, please call 561-832-1988 or visit .

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