By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale | NB Indy
Science and the Silver Screen joined forces on Sept. 26 for Discovery Cube Orange County’s glamorous Hollywood-themed gala, “Premiere – A Red Carpet Affair,” held inside the interactive science center in Santa Ana.
The event raised more than $575,000 for science education, and honored Newport Beach residents Julia and George Argyros with the prestigious Arnold O. Beckman Award.
Discovery Cube also presented the inaugural Spirit of Discovery Award to Newport Beach resident Linda White-Peters.
The evening began with a cocktail reception featuring a variety of costumed characters and guests, plus a science quest that took guests to various parts of the science center.
Gala committee co-chairs Janet Ray of Newport Beach and Mechelle Lawrence-Adams
were on hand to welcome the nearly 350 guests as they entered the new Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater and Exhibition Hall, where the dinner program was held.
We had not been to Discovery Cube (formerly called Discovery Science Center) in several years, and were surprised and impressed to see the expanded center.
“I love their new Bean Sprouts Café, which is a part of their healthy living initiative” said Catherine. “They specialize in foods that are both healthy and nutritious, and even have options for vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, nut-free and egg-free eaters. As another bonus, kids and adults alike can put on their chef hats and learn to make healthy recipes they can repeat at home.”
“I was also impressed with the new exhibits, especially the 3D printer and the life-size ‘Operation’ game. They also have a water exhibit which is relevant to the drought that we are facing in California.”
“I’m impressed with the themed décor of the gala—the spotlights and movie decorations really add to the Premiere concept,” said Christopher. “And the dinner is equally impressive: beef tenderloin with red wine jus paired with tarragon poached lobster tail.”
During dinner, Discovery Cube OC President Joe Adams and Board Chairman Rick Baily presented the Arnold O. Beckman and Spirit of Discovery awards.
The Arnold O. Beckman award is named in honor of the renowned scientist, inventor, educator and philanthropist who was one of Discovery Cube’s founding donors. It was bestowed upon Julia and George Argyros of Newport Beach for their generosity and support of Discovery Cube’s initiatives in the community.
“We are honored to accept the prestigious Arnold O. Beckman award from Discovery Cube,” said Julia Argyros of the
Argyros Family Foundation. “Both George and myself have always believed in the importance of giving back and making a difference in the future of Orange County. Discovery Cube is a world-class organization that changes lives every day and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“The passion both George and Julia have for the youth of our community is real and true,” said Adams. “We are so excited to be able to honor them, because of their tremendous support of Discovery Cube and our capital campaign. Their gift enabled us to have a state-of-the-art exhibit hall and theater that no other science center in the country has. Their generosity helped elevate the quality of our programming and enabled us to bring the largest exhibits to Orange County.”
The inaugural Spirit of Discovery award, presented to Linda White-Peters of Newport Beach, recognized her outstanding service to Discovery Cube, not only through her commitment to advancing the mission, but also throughout the community. She has spent her career assisting educational institutions throughout the County to grow and prosper, so they may impact the community around them.
Among the many live auction items: a private catered dinner for twelve and a champagne harbor cruise donated by Blueberry Hill and Janet and Walkie Ray; a private VIP Bubblefest Show at Discovery Cube, and select jewelry donated by Black, Starr & Frost.
Bidders also raised their paddles for Discovery Cube’s science education fund, which totaled donations of $68,500.
For more information, visit discoverycube.org.