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Discovery World gala, fireworks draws VIP crowd to raise money for STEM education

Fireworks lit up Milwaukee's lakefront Saturday as a VIP crowd helped christen the new pavilion at Discovery World to raise money for the educational museum. Check out the attached slideshow of the Ignite the Spark Gala put together by Milwaukee Business Journal freelance photographer Kenny Yoo.

The 12th annual event was one of the first events held in Discovery World's new pavilion along Milwaukee's lakefront. It included a silent auction, an exhibit of many of the art projects made by children attending Discovery World’s summer camps and a fireworks display in conjunction with Germanfest, which was being held on the adjacent Summerfest grounds. The event raised money for the museum and for all of the children’s programs it offers, with an emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The 10,000-square-foot pavilion located on Discovery World’s north lawn will serve several purposes, including lunchroom space for visiting school groups, educational space for field trips and summer camps, space for special events and weddings, and space for traveling exhibits. This pavilion will replace a seasonal tent that has been utilized for several years.

The project was designed by Milwaukee's Eppstein Uhen Architects and the construction manager is Gilbane Building Co.

It is part of a $12 million expansion project underway at the educational museum. Discovery World president Joel Brennan told guests that two new permanent exhibits, including a new health and medical exhibit, will open later this fall.  Discovery World opened the $95 million facility on Milwaukee's lakefront, next to the Milwaukee Art Museum, in 2006.

Among the VIP crowd were Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Business executives and community leaders in attendance included Joe and Jennifer Bartolotta of The Bartolotta Restaurants, Jim Kanter of MillerCoors, Grady Crosby of Johnson Controls, Alan Yeung of Foxconn Technology Group, Dr. John Raymond of the Medical College of Wisconsin, Cecelia Gilbert of the Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation, Jen Dirks of Tempo Milwaukee, Milwaukee attorney Randall Crocker, Tracy Johnson of Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin and former Wisconsin Department of Administration secretary Scott Neitzel.

Mark Kass
Milwaukee Business Journal

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