MySweetCharity Opportunity: Night At The Museum

According to Night At The Museum Co-Chairs Sylvia Cespedes and Meredith Plunkett,

Hernan Saenz and Sylvia Cespedes*

Mark and Meredith Plunkett*

Mirages and mystery games, deception and disguises, camouflage formations, natural curiosities and secret societies. Much like the Perot Museum itself, this must-do event is one of the most interactive and engaging parties of the year. On Saturday, November 11, guests will spend the evening exploring 180,000 square feet of exciting encryptions, deceptive displays, and forensics fun, including:

  • Lie-detector tests
  • Wine tastings
  • Blind food tastings
  • Human mazes
  • Mirrored illusions
  • Game of mystery
  • Baffling botany
  • Handwriting analysis

The event also promises to astound your taste buds with menu marvels such as 3D food printing, quirky cocktails and a mystery food lab, to name a few. On every floor and at every turn, this year’s “Night at the Museum: Intrigue” is sure to have guests questioning reality and asking, “How did they do that?!”

We are thrilled to join our husbands, Hernan Saenz and Mark Plunkett, as co-chairs of this year’s event, along with Honorary Co-Chairs Sharon and Kip Tindell. If you like to party for a good cause, please mark your calendars and sign-up to attend this year’s gala, which runs from 7 p.m. – midnight on all five levels of the Museum. Underwriting packages begin at $2,500 (six guests). Cocktail attire – or your favorite mysterious garb – is preferred.

Proceeds from the annual Night at the Museum gala support the Museum’s mission to inspire minds through nature and science, from on-site and outreach programs for pre-K through 12th graders, to financial assistance that allows students to visit the Museum, regardless of their school’s ability to pay. Underwriting contributions also fund research and collections efforts and help secure top-quality traveling exhibitions.
We hope you will join us for this fabulous event that will help so many North Texas youth get critical exposure to the sciences. For more information, please email [email protected] or call 214.756.5815.

* Photo provided by Perot Museum

Night At The Museum Gala Guests Had A Night To “Elevate” At The Perot Museum

Despite a tad bit of anxiety by some about the possibility of another election protest in downtown Dallas on Saturday, November 12, the Night at the Museum fundraiser for the Perot Museum didn’t dissuade guests from attending the “Elevate”-theme soiree. Here’s a report from the field:

Mariah Wilcox and Hunter and Wendy Covitz*

Glitzily dressed guests descended on the Perot Museum of Nature and Science for its annual Night at the Museum gala on Saturday, November 12. This year’s soiree, themed “Elevate,” took party-goers on an all-night flight through the world of aerospace to discover how nature has influenced modern-day aviation, the future of flight, artistic interpretations of elevation and more. From live bird shows, aerialists, virtual reality and drones to fancy floating foods, feather tattoos and hair extensions, Night at the Museum had guests playing and partying the night away.

Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg*

Carolyn Rathjen, Ross Perot and Nancy Perot*

Prior to the main party, top supporters began trickling in and were welcomed by “old-school stewardesses” to the VIP reception, presented by Highland Capital Management. Before long, the retro-style airport lounge, which was sponsored by American Airlines, was bustling with special guests including Margot and Ross Perot, Honorary Co-Chairs Carolyn Perot Rathjen and Karl Rathjen, Nancy Perot and Rod Jones, Suzanne and Patrick McGee, Katherine and Eric Reeves, Tori and Russ Mulford, Co-Chairs Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg and Co-Chair Thomas Surgent. (Co-Chair Carmen Surgent was ill and missed out on the fun!)

Adam Nelson, Emily Sharp, Thomas Surgent and Katie and Grant Irving*

Other dignitaries included Interim Perot Museum CEO Dan Kohl and Maria Garcia, Lyda Hill, Katherine and Michael Phillips, Rusty and John Jaggers, Perot Museum Board Chair Hernan Saenz and Sylvia Cespedes, Jody and Sheila Grant, Jim and Gail Spann, Forrest and Sally Hoglund, Kelly Compton, Nicole and Justin Small and others. With a backdrop of black-and-white vintage moments in aviation history and the crooning of Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me,” highlights included a Wolfgang Puck chocolate bar, a green-screen photo booth, and a “pearls and bubbles” caviar and champagne station.

Dan Kohl and Hernan Saenz*

Justin and Nicole Small*

As the evening got underway, guests enjoyed live bird shows with Window to the Wild, flight simulators, drone races, trebuchet demos, an oxygen blast bar, the Birds of Paradise exhibition, and interacting with the Museum’s virtual Beam robot, to name a few. Lots of smiles were made at the popular hot air balloon green screen, the hair-raising Van de Graff generator and the amethyst heart geode, which made its sparkly debut in the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall. 

Guests flocked to the dragon’s breath liquid nitrogen station, featuring dream-sicle meringue, lemon meringue and Cracker Jack pops on sticks, which were dipped in liquid nitrogen. Lots of cell phone videos were recording as guests tasted the instantly frozen treats and then blew out a liquid nitrogen puff.  Other food and drink favorites included levitating macaroons, a donut wall and the Fancy Francie cocktail.

The after-party, sponsored by Central Market, got underway as Manhattan rocked the house. Ladies traded in their heels for ballet flats, as pilot hats and aviator sunglasses were passed out. Late-night snacks included “walking tacos,” pimiento mac n’ cheese, Cuban sandwiches, churros, pizza and “spiked” grasshopper milk shakes.

Jerry and Emy Lou Baldridge and Sally and Forrest Hoglund*

A few of Dallas’ local luminaries were spotted including D’Andra Simmons, Jane McGarry, A.C. Gonzales, Emy Lou and Jerry Baldridge, Peggy and Richard Allison, Betsy and Richard Eiseman, Eugenia and Frank-Paul King, Mary Suhm, Mary Jalonick, Monica Egert-Smith, Barbara and Don Daseke, Betsey Urschel, Mollie Crow, Anne Davidson, Suzanne and Walt Humann and Brent Christopher.

* Photo credit: Jason Janik

Despite Lying Down On The Job, Ellie May Was The Lady Of The Hour At The Perot Museum’s “A Night At The Museum”

While the Dallas skyline glowed in France colors just 24 hours after the massacre in Paris, the air of the Perot Museum’s courtyard on Saturday, November 14, was filled with propane as fire-juggling performers welcomed guests to the Night at the Museum fundraiser.

Fire juggler

Fire juggler

After all it was a night of Illumination with faux jellyfish suspended from the ceiling in the entry hallway and a universe of stars at the VIP reception in the lower level’s auditorium.

Carrie Becker and Merry Vose

Carrie Becker and Merry Vose

Deedie and Rusty Rose

Deedie and Rusty Rose

Event Co-Chairs Carrie and Steven Becker and Merry and Chad Vose had arranged for a glamorous planetarium with the walls and ceiling sparkling with dazzling stars and Wolfgang Puck food and drinks. Word had it that the goodies had also been served up at the Academy Awards.

The program was delayed because organizers were in a holding pattern for Honorary Co-Chairs Deedie and Rusty Rose. But the show had to go on. After all there are schedules.

John Jaggers

John Jaggers

Mike Rawlings and Colleen Walker

Mike Rawlings and Colleen Walker

Perot Museum Board of Directors Chair John Jaggers and Perot Museum Eugene McDermott CEO Colleen Walker welcomed the crowd and directed the VIP guests to the third floor for the “unveiling” of Ellie Mae.

Taking the express elevators to the third floor, the group was privy to the uncurtaining of the display of Ellie, a female Columbian mammoth.

Unlike the big boy mammoth standing on the fifth floor, Ellie was flat but floating across from the elevator.

Ellie May

Ellie May

While the Dallas Morning News had a story about Ellie Mae, guests learned the behind-the-scene story and the high profiles who were part of the chain that brought her to the big city.

So, what was the story? A friend of Mary McDermott Cook called her about something of interest in Ellis County. Mary in turn called Perot Museum Board Member Carolyn Perot Rathjen, who called Colleen.

Ron Tykoski and Tony Fiorillo

Ron Tykoski and Tony Fiorillo

Carolyn Perot Rathjen

Carolyn Perot Rathjen

At this point Colleen would have had Perot Curator of Earth Sciences Dr. Tony Fiorillo in Ellis Country, but he was in Alaska searching for new acquisitions. So, staff paleontologist Dr. Ron Tykoski was drafted to journey with Colleen on a Saturday to check out the “the supposed discovery.”

Well, sure enough it was the real thing. All thanks to the drought and the property owner’s patience, the Perot team dug, brushed and prepared the skeleton for delivered to Colorado for mounting.

When asked how they knew the mammoth was a female, Tony diplomatically explained that in measuring the pelvis, it was declared to be a lady mammoth.

And why the name? Colleen and Tony gave each other a smile. They were really ready for that one. The bones had been discovered in “Ellis” County in the month of “May.” Oh!

Colleen told the crowd of VIPs that the collection of bones was truly remarkable because it was as if the mammoth had just laid down and died without being ravaged by other animals or swept away by the elements. Why, event her tail curled under her.

And what was the cause of her death? Gee, that was something like a 35,000-year-old CIS. Ron hinted that specks of infection had been spotted in a couple of place in her bones.

Linda and Mitch Hart

Linda and Mitch Hart

David Nichols and Elizabeth Robertson

David Nichols and Elizabeth Robertson

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins and Rachel and Michael Osburn

Jared Hutchins and Tierney Kaufman Hutchins and Rachel and Michael Osburn

As Ellie looked at rest in her new digs, the 1,200 guests partied throughout the entire Perot with activities, music, food and news exchanging. Linda Hart laughed at how Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg kept hugging husband Mitch Hart at the Dallas Opera’s First Night…Elizabeth Robertson told David Nichols that she would not be taking the Perot’s escalator. She was still shaking off the fact that she had returned from Paris and its terrorist attack… Lyda Hill with a glowing ring explained to Ross Perot the layout at one of the food stations…Newlyweds Tierney Kaufman Hutchins and Jared Hutchins just back from their honeymoon were with Rachel and Michael Osburn…Mayor Mike Rawlings in black tie was making the rounds without his First Lady Micki Rawlings, who had other family commitments…Co-Chair Merry Vose told Sharron Hunt that she had spotted her starry dress in Paris and told them it was hers no matter the size. That’s why there are tailors!

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Night At The Museum

Ellie May

Ellie May

Forget all the young hotties with the cleavage who seem to be the center of attention at gatherings. The lady of the hour at the Perot Museum’s Night at the Museum on Saturday, November 14, was an old gal named “Ellie May.” She’s a local and the one everyone including the likes of Ross Perot, Lyda Hill and other well-knowns wanted to see and hear about.

Lyda Hill and Ross Perot

Lyda Hill and Ross Perot

Mike Rawlings and Colleen Walker

Mike Rawlings and Colleen Walker

While the post is being prepared, the photos of the night including Ellie M can be found at the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

JUST IN: Night At The Museum 2015 Plans Announced Plus Summer Doings

Perot Museum resident

Perot Museum resident

Must be Monday because the news keeps rocking on in.

The Perot Museum dinosaurs may be holding still, but the staff isn’t. They’ve just reported plans for the annual Night at the Museum 2015 . This year’s fundraiser will take place on Saturday, November 14 from 7 p.m. to midnight. The theme will be “Illuminate.”

Illuminate? How’s that? It’s in connection with the museum’s fall traveling exhibition that will “be formally announced in coming months.” So, act surprised when the announcement is made.

Heading up the evening of “dinner, dancing and sparkly feats” will be Co-Chairs Carrie and Steven Becker and Merry and Chad Vose. Honorary Co-Chairs will be Deedie and Rusty Rose.

Tickets are already available!

And while we’re on the subject of the Perot, this upcoming Memorial Weekend is going to “kick off the Museum’s special summer offering  complimentary general admission for veterans, active and retired. U.S. military personnel and first responders, plus $3 off general admission for members of their immediate families (up to six family members).”  There are other summer specials at the Museum, so you’ll need to check it out.

Night At The Museum Proved The Perot Is Still Where Yesteryear And Tomorrow Come Together In Spectacular Fashion

Has it really, truly been two years since Dallas added the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to its treasure chest of Gee- whiz-must-visits spots?

Outdoor light show

Outdoor light show

Yup! And Saturday, November 15, more than 1,000 gathered despite drizzle and dipping temps to celebrate “Night at the Museum“. Just the outdoor light show that greeted guests set the mood of what lay within.

John Jaggers

John Jaggers

Colleen Walker

Colleen Walker

Lisa and Ken Schnitzer

Lisa and Ken Schnitzer

Nancy Perot

Nancy Perot

Karl and Carolyn Rathjen and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones

Karl and Carolyn Rathjen and Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones

Before the main wave of guests arrived, the VIPs (Betsy Waggoner, Patsy Donosky, Nancy Bass, Lynn and Allan McBee, Honorary Co-Chairs Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Event Co-Chairs Emily and David Corrigan, Lyda Hill, and, of course, Perots (Margot and Ross Perot, Nancy Perot, Katherine and Eric Reeves and Carolyn and Karl Rathjen) gathered on the ground level for an official welcome by Perot Chairman of the Board John Jaggers and CEO Colleen Walker. Despite the String Quartet Dallas’ playing upstairs, the music competed with John’s and Colleen’s welcome. Still the crowd got it when Colleen advised the ladies in stilettos that at 8:30, they could give their heels a rest and use the museum flip flops to wander the floors.

Ross Perot leading ""Hip!' Hip! Hurray!"

Ross Perot leading “”Hip!’ Hip! Hurray!”

Before departing Colleen asked Ross to lead the group in his signature “Hip! Hip! Hurray!” He complied.

One of the subjects mentioned to the group was that there would be plenty to eat throughout the museum and they didn’t underestimate the food offerings.

Wolfgang Puck’s team of foodies had food stations every few feet through the mammoth museum. At times it seemed like some of the dinosaurs just might return to life to for a bite.

And they were your everyday, ordinary chicks-on-a-stick items. No, Wolfi

Cassis sorbet with liquid nitrogen berries and goat cheese

Cassis sorbet with liquid nitrogen berries and goat cheese

e had everything from preserved tomato ravioli with vegetable consume, paella, pork dumplings with ponzu sauce, cassis sorbet with liquid nitrogen berries and whipped goat cheese, red wine braised beef hand pies with rosemary aioli, buttermilk pie with glazed raspberries, pomegranate molasses braised chicken with coconut coriander rice and miso black cod with kabocha, golden raisins, kale chips and Pedro ximenez.

And, of course, the presentation was half the fun. In addition to the usual table stations, there were cart for the hot dogs and a robot bartender on the second floor.

Robo-tender

Robo-tender

Yup, you heard it. When University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute’s Jonathan Kretz was asked if the robo-tender could tell if you’ve have too much to drink, he laughed, “No, but sometimes it seems like he’s had too much to drink!” Jonathan then added as the robot poured a healthy glass of red wine, “He’s a little more generous that the bartenders, so please come back!”

Champagne flutes

Champagne flutes

Bottles on ice

Bottles on ice

As for the exhibits, the Model S Tesla gent on the third floor was cute, friendly and tight lipped. When asked about the vehicle with party-in-the-front filled champagne flutes and party-hearty-in-the-back trunk of bottles on ice, he sounded a bit like one of the robots. Question: “How much it the car?” Answer: “You need to contact corporate.” Question: “What are the benefits of the Tesla?” Answer: “I don’t know. I was just told to be here.” He was a good trooper and followed orders.

While the Perot Museum is no longer the new-kid-on-the-block, the celebration proved it’s still the place to go when you want to experience the past, present and future.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Night At The Museum

Robo-tender

Robo-tender

Where else would one find dinosaurs and robot bartenders schmoozing with philanthropists? The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, of course. So, that was the scene for Night at the Museum, in celebration of the Perot’s second anniversary.

Cassis sorbet with liquid nitrogen berries and goat cheese

Cassis sorbet with liquid nitrogen berries and goat cheese

In addition to a Model S Tesla with flutes of champagne where the motor should be, Wolfgang Puck’s food stations abounded on all the floors.

As the post is being prepped, check out the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery for a gander of the scene.