FLINT’S RENOWNED SLOAN MUSEUM AND LONGWAY PLANETARIUM HAVE BEEN INSPIRING LOCAL YOUTH, FAMILIES AND PATRONS TO DISCOVER AND EXPLORE SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND HISTORY THROUGH ENGAGING LEARNING EXPERIENCES.
On Saturday September 28, the Sloan Museum hosted their annual fundraiser at historic Factory One – the center of General Motors’ heritage. This year’s event also christened their inaugural Discovery Awards by announcing awards for outstanding contributions in science, history, education and community. According to Sloan Museum/Longway Planetarium Executive Director Todd K. Slisher, they want to annually honor members of the community in areas that the new museum will focus on.
The packed house of event-goers stepped into a 1920s speakeasy theme and enjoyed entertaining music highlighted by the dynamic Soul’d Out featuring the fabulous voice of Cory Joseph along with dinner catered by Flint’s popular Cork on Saginaw restaurant. To add to the gala atmosphere was a silent auction followed by a live auction featuring champion auctioneer Brent “Red Beard” Laponsey.
“The fifth annual Night at the Museum event was a blast!” Slisher says. “Factory One was the perfect setting for our ‘Speakeasy’ theme this year and all the guests really got into the spirit.” Director of Development Debbe Campbell adds, “All of the guests loved the venue, the decorations, the smooth jazz sounds of the John Paxton band and the lively Soul’d Out band. Plus, everybody enjoyed dressing up and getting into the speakeasy theme.”
Proceeds from this event will provide subsidized field trips and outreach activities for underserved area youth along with providing an opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy cultural experiences, classes and hands-on activities. “We had some wonderful auction items and had a great time raising money for education programs at Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium,” Slisher adds.
Sloan Museum Discovery Award Winners for 2019:
Outstanding Contributions in Science:
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, founder and director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative.
Outstanding Contributions in History:
Kevin Kirbitz, Operations manager for General Motors’ Factory One; instrumental in General Motors’ purchase, restoration and renovation of the Durant-Dort Factory One building along with 35-plus years of engineering experience. As a youth, designed the Crossroads Village logo.
Outstanding Contributions in Education:
Dr. Lisa Nagel, superintendent of the Genesee Intermediate School District since 2010, past chair of the GenNET governing board and chairperson of the Michigan State Educational Network Board.
Outstanding Contributions in Community:
Jim Ananich; former civics and government teacher at Carman- Ainsworth and Flint Community Schools serving in the State of Michigan Senate since 2013 where his bill to make Flint a Promise Zone was signed into law in 2017.