Published February 19, 2002
Volume 10, Number 2

Valley Children's Museum Hosts First Annual Gala

The First Annual Valley Children's Museum Gala Fundraiser, "Big Hands Helping Little Hands," will be held on Saturday, March 23 at The Blackhawk Museum, 3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle in Danville. 

The party begins with no-host cocktails and appetizers at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. with food provided by Scott's Seafood Restaurant. A silent auction and musical entertainment will continue throughout the evening. An extra bonus will be the display of projects by area Intel Science Fair award winners.

Tickets are $100 per person. Tables of ten can be purchased for $1,000 and table sponsorships are available for $500 and up. 

The idea of a children's museum originated with Dina Visuri, a mother of four and a member of the Amador Mother's Club. She had had to drive many miles outside the valley to take her family to children's museums and decided the Tri-Valley needed one of its own. Lori Werhane, also a member and full-time stay-at-home mom, read about the museum proposal in the club's newsletter and caught the enthusiasm for the project. She had worked as a graphic designer and copywriter and offered her skills to the project. Now she serves on the board of directors. 

The 20,000 square foot Valley Children's Museum will be built as part of the City of San Ramon's new Civic Center, with doors opening in the next three years. The museum will provide the only non-profit venue in the area for children to expand their imagination through hands-on, interactive, educational play.

In the meantime, a museum committee is researching an interim site for a "mini-museum" that will bring the benefits of the future site to the community on a smaller scale. 

Yes, children will be able to touch everything in the new museum. They will have opportunities for educational play through fun, interactive exhibits and programs for children, families, and school groups. The museum will have volunteer programs for youth and seniors.

Plans have already been made for specific exhibits. One example is "Our Town," with themes from our local communities. Sample exhibits may include the natural surroundings of the valley with simulated rolling hills. Projects may include gravity and acceleration activities, wind toys, water flow experiments, and a hands-on fossilization exhibit depicting the area's earliest inhabitants. 

On the modern side, with blueprints in hand, kids can build a store complete with plumbing, and tear it down as needed with play-safe replicas of construction equipment.

The Valley Children's Museum board is grateful for donations from individuals or businesses. Werhane notes that one method of donating to VCM is to inquire with your company's human resources department about company-matched contributions. She says that you can also register for eScrip and designate a percentage of your purchases made with eScrip merchants as a gift to the museum. The museum is accepting monetary donations, as well as cars, RV's, and boats.

She adds that information about the museum and activities can be used by businesses in their recruitment packets to help inform prospective employers about this unique Tri-Valley children's place. 

To purchase tickets to the gala fundraiser, donate a silent auction item or to become a table sponsor, please call (925) 461-6574 or email fundraising@valleychildrensmuseum.org. For more information, access www.valleychildrensmuseum.org.


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