It’s a Dog’s Life: Lighting the Discovery Ball

When it comes to making top event lists it can get a little
dog eat dog! So, kudos to our friends at California Science Center for making
the Biz Bash list of the Top Charity Events in Southern California once again
for its annual Discovery Ball!  This
year’s event was one for the books … or barks! The high-profile annual gala
typically centers its theme and decor around its newest exhibit—a family-friend
display called “Dogs! A Science Tail.”

The resulting black-tie take on a canine theme drew 1,000
guests and broke fund-raising records, generating more than $2 million to
support the museum’s educational programming and exhibits.

“We let this year’s party go to the dogs!” You
don’t hear that often! But then, Chris Sion, VP of food and event services,
doesn’t always theme the Discovery Ball after an exhibit on dogs. It was
raining cat and dog pun, especially in the dinner area.  

The Samuel Oschin Pavilion, which famously features the
space shuttle Endeavour, was transformed to resemble an upscale dog park, with
16-foot trees covered in twinkle lights, oversize floral centerpieces, street
lights, and green linens. A 10-foot-tall dog, custom-fabricated by florists CJ
Matsumoto & Sons, sat on stage. Meanwhile, Good Gracious Events prepared a
dinner menu full of tongue-in-cheek reference to canines. The salad course
featured a large crouton shaped like a dog, while the entree, playfully named
“Doggone Beef Steak Filet,” had a bone-shape biscuit and green beans
presented in the shape of a dog leash. Dessert was—what else?—a selection of
chocolate bark. 

With a theme centered on a Dog’s Tail, the event team took
every opportunity to have some fun, including the after party which took place
in the museum’s Loker Conference Center, which had been transformed into the
“Dog Houz Nightclub.” 

“With the assistance of Edge Decor and Design, we
created a quirky but hip after-party environment reminiscent of the inside of
an imagined dog house, upholstered in hot pink fur,” Chris Sion,  VP of food and event services, told Biz Bash.

“Our only regret was that the ultimate dog—Snoop
Dogg—was not available the night of the gala,” laughed Sion. “Of
course we had to ask!”

Venue: California Science Center | Lighting: Images by Lighting, Lonnie Thompson | Catering: Good Gracious Events and Pink Hot Dogs | Custom Art: Everblock (Lego dog), Lili Chin Art (auction paddles), Puppetude by Melissa Leitch (puppets) | Decor: Edge Design and Decor, Jackson Shrub, Theatreworld Backdrops | Flowers: CJ Matsumoto & Sons | Entertainment: Entire Productions, Invisible Touch Entertainment, Lucent Dossier | Rentals: Town and Country Event Rentals, Wildflower Linen | Photos: Nadine Froger