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This Ancient Jerusalem-Inspired Gala Set a Fund-Raising Record

To fete its new Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, the California Science Center's annual ball featured two-story projections, live goats, and a cave-like cocktail hour.

By Alesandra Dubin March 16, 2015, 7:15 AM EDT

Photo: Nadine Froger Photography

California Science Center Discovery Ball
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Each year, the California Science Center's Discovery Ball gala dinner corresponds with the launch of a new exhibit. In the past, that's meant the night has channeled grand ancient Italy, dramatic outer space, and Cleopatra's opulent Egypt—all taking place around the museum's urban environment near U.S.C. 

This year, the institution's March 7 bash was also the debut of the Dead Sea Scrolls—the largest exhibit of the scrolls ever presented outside of Israel, and a buzzy show expected to be a major blockbuster for the Science Center. With production and design spearheaded by California Science Center Foundation food and event services vice president Christina Sion, this year's event transported guests to the desert outside Jerusalem, where a young Bedouin shepherd discovered the 2,000-year-old texts preserved in jars.

With the help of event attractions such as a costumed shepherd, live goats, a cave-like cocktail environment, and two-story video projections, the museum raised more than $1.5 million—distinguishing this year's ball as the most successful philanthropic event in the history of the Science Center.

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