The Venus Orbit “All About Venus” Event

Posted on May 6th, 2014

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By: MiaSci

Trish Bell, Julia Rea Bianchi and Swanee DiMare

On Wednesday, April 23, over 100 guests gathered at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science for “All About Venus,” a celebration in honor of the museum’s Venus Orbit women’s initiative, hosted by Venus Orbit Chair and Trustee Julia Rea Bianchi.

Attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, including the “Orbit-tini,” the signature purple libation of the night, before making their way into the planetarium for the main program. Julia then awarded Crystal Stars to the Venus Orbit galactic team captains who had fulfilled their “Orbit” by making a minimum donation of $1,000 and recruiting nine additional members to join the Venus Orbit initiative. Crystal Star recipients included museum board Co-chair Trish Bell, board member Taffy Gould, Maria Schwedel, Julee Akselrad, Barbara Goldin and Liz Hogan.

Julia Rea Bianchi, Taffy Gould, Julee Akselrad, Maria Schwedel, Trish Bell and Gillian Thomas

A special honor was bestowed upon Julia for her creation of, and dedication to, Venus Orbit. Julia received a personalized construction hat in purple, the Venus Orbit signature color, to be worn when she is at the construction site of the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science.

Julia Rea Bianchi

Following the ceremony, the group was treated to an engaging demonstration by a member of the planetarium team, Claudia Hernandez, who showed the audience how to find Venus in the Miami sky before taking them on a virtual voyage to Venus utilizing the planetarium’s technology. Afterward, Caroline Simpson, Ph.D., associate professor at Florida International University, shared a presentation about historical women in astronomy, including an anecdote about the beauty of Venus in the night sky being her personal inspiration for becoming an astronomer.

Additional notable attendees included Honorary Chair and Trustee Swanee DiMare and Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science President & CEO Gillian Thomas.

Gillian Thomas and Swanee DiMare

Venus Orbit is an initiative to bring together 1,000 “out-of-this-world” women to donate $1,000 each in support of the construction of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science’s new state of the art planetarium, currently under construction in downtown Miami at Museum Park. The group will collectively raise $1 million dollars to be matched by a Knight Foundation 1:2 Challenge Grant, for a total of $1.5 million dollars.

For more information on Venus Orbit and to learn more about joining, please visit the Venus Orbit website or call Edson Pires at 305.646.4224.

Elena Luca, Gloria Danovitz, Pam Garrison, Trish Bell and Barbara Resse

Maria Schwedel and Julee Akselrad

Marta Hutson and Dr. Eldredge Bermingham

For more photos from the “All About Venus” event, click here.

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