Night at the Museum: Illuminate


Perot Museum of Nature and Science Aglow For Night at the Museum: Illuminate


High-LIGHTS of this shimmering celebration included debut of beloved Columbian mammoth fossil, plus stunning Creatures of Light exhibition, science-infused cuisine and black-light photo booths

(Photo above: gala co-chairs Carrie Becker, Steven Becker, Merry Vose, Chad Vose).


The Perot Museum of Nature and Science was all aglow for its annual fundraising gala – Night at the Museum: Illuminate – on Nov. 14. As nearly 1,200 guests embarked on the sparkly soiree, outdoor fire performers graced the plaza while giant jellyfish hung from the ceilings of the atrium, creating a sea of magical light. Girls wearing fiber-optic dresses, designed by Josette Couture Fashion, beckoned party goers into the shimmery affair filled with celestial light.



On the Lower Level, the VIP pre-party, sponsored by Highland Capital Management, featured local luminaries – from the Perot family to Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings to former NASA astronaut Robert Curbeam. Even Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, who designed the Perot Museum, flew in from California for the annual gathering.


Guests indulged in savory bites prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering, sipped “illumitini” martinis, enjoyed face- and body- black light painting, and made memories in the light-inspired photo booth. After Colleen Walker, the Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer of the Perot Museum, and John Jaggers, Perot Museum board chairman, made a few remarks, guests headed to Level 3 for the unveiling of “Ellie May,” the nearly intact and pristine Columbian mammoth discovered in Ellis County in May 2014 (hence her name).  Read more about her here.

Up on Level 4, former NASA astronaut (now Raytheon Space Systems vice president and deputy) Robert Curbeam talked about his three space missions. On Level 2, guests were mesmerized with cow eye dissections, bio lab experiments, and laser cutting and 3D printing demonstrations.

Favorite bites from the night (some inspired by science) included molecular caviar, snow crab claws, lobster rolls, brûléed s’mores cupcakes, liquid nitrogen frozen treats, peach- and bacon-flavored cotton candy, honey stung chicken and waffles, Texas Frito pies, and mini Sarsaparilla floats.

As the night sparkled on, the after party sponsored by Central Market ramped up as Professor D lured guests onto the dance floor. Ladies traded their high heels in for comfy ballet flats at the shoe check, and party goers donned glowing accessories, from LED glasses to glowing bracelets, thanks to CANARY.

Event chairs are Carrie and Steven Becker and Merry and Chad Vose, and honorary co-chairs are Deedie and Rusty Rose. Lead commitments include $100,000 Planet-level contributions from Highland Capital Management, Lyda Hill and Margot and Ross Perot; $50,000 Dinosaur-level contributions from The Hoglund Foundation and Deedie and Rusty Rose; and $25,000 Turbine-level commitments from American Airlines; Balfour Beatty Construction; Emily and David Corrigan and Carol and John Levy; Suzanne and Patrick McGee; Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr.; Nancy Perot and Rod Jones; Katherine and Michael Phillips; Carolyn and Karl Rathjen; The Rees-Jones Foundation; Katherine and Eric Reeves; TXU Energy/Luminant and Catherine and Will Rose.


The $12,500 Geode-level supporters are Bain & Company, Inc.; Carrie and Steven Becker and Merry and Chad Vose; Pat and Jane Bolin; Diane and Hal Brierley; Nancy and Clint Carlson; The David B. Miller Family Foundation; Al G. Hill, Jr.; The Men and Women of Hunt Consolidated, Inc.; Rusty and John Jaggers; Karen and Alen Katz – Neiman Marcus; Kosmos Energy, LLC; The M.O.B. Family Foundation; Peregrine Group, LLC; Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation; Raytheon Company; The Rosewood Corporation; Jennifer and Andy Scripps; Jim and Gail Spann; Time Warner Cable; and Mr. and Mrs. John T. Walter.
Host Committee members are Sheila and Dave Beuerlein; Sarah and Sam Bloom; Lucy and Michael Brittian; Emily and David Corrigan; Cammy and Holmes Davis; Kim and Kevin Dodson; Betsy and Richard Eiseman; Heather and Bill Esping; Courtney and Michael Flanagan; Rebecca and Barron Fletcher; Colleen Walker and Felipe Gumucio; Heather and Chris Gilker; Margaret and Barry Hancock; Julie and Ed Hawes; Pilar and Jay Henry; Ann and Lee Hobson; Rusty and John Jaggers; Jennifer and Tom Karol; Nancy Perot and Rod Jones; Laura and Greg Koonsman; Hallie and Max Lamont; Maggie and Greg Langston; Muffin and John Lemak; Carol and John Levy; Michelle and Bill Lockhart; Libby and Murray McCabe; Suzanne and Patrick McGee; Megan and Casey McManemin; Leslie and Jason Needleman; Margot and Ross Perot; Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr.; Carrie and Marshall Phaneuf; Karen and Richard Pollock; Michal and Loyd Powell; Amy and Corey Prestidge; Carolyn and Karl Rathjen; Katherine and Eric Reeves; Lisa and John Rocchio; Catherine and Will Rose; Lisa Runyon; Sylvia Cespedes and Hernan Saenz; Christie and Frank Scardino; Ginny and Conner Searcy; Elizabeth and Bart Showalter; Abigail and Andrew Sinwell; Waverly and David Smith; Gail and Jim Spann; Marlene and John Sughrue; Mary and Mike Terry; Dawne and Patrick Tribole; Sarah and Russell Weinberg; and Abby and Todd Williams.


Proceeds from the annual Night at the Museum gala will 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.

For more information, email, call 214.756.5815 or go to


About the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. A top destination for North Texans and tourists alike, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a nonprofit educational organization located in the heart of Dallas, Texas, with campuses in Victory Park and Fair Park. With a mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the Perot Museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor and outreach experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The 180,000-square-foot facility in Victory Park opened in December 2012 and is now recognized as the symbolic gateway to the Dallas Arts District. The Museum features 11 permanent exhibit halls on five floors of public space; a children’s museum; a state-of-the art traveling exhibition hall; and The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. Future scientists, mathematicians and engineers will find inspiration and enlightenment through breathtaking collections, interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations and vivid contextual displays that expose visitors to a hands-on world of ideas and concepts. Designed by 2005 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis Architects, the Victory Park Museum has been lauded for its artistry and sustainability. To learn more, please visit

Press release courtesy Perot Museum. Photos by Jason Janik/Perot Museum of Nature and Science.


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly, the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.