CNI GALA 2012, Behind The Scenes

Skirball Center, Los Angeles, California - Kelly Decker and Joleen Deatherage work out event details during the event setup.

Behind the scenes at the 2012 Children’s Nature Institute (CNI) Gala, hosted by CNI at the Skirball Cultural Center, Ahmanson Ballroom, Los Angeles, California – May 16, 2012.

Let me first say that the event was well attended, and successful in terms of fund-raising and communicating the mission of CNI – to educate children, families and communities through interactive experiences with nature and to inspire respect, responsibility and a connection to the natural environment.

In terms of the atmosphere the evening was elegant and energized with performances by the programs children, appeal of CNI’s Wonder Mobile and Discovery Bus Field Trip programs, and recognition of this years honorees for their contribution to youth and community environmental education . The evening began with a reception that included a diverse silent auction with items that ranged from L.A. Dodger baseball tickets to a table top Zen Garden. I also participated in the silent auction by donating a 4 hour planning and design consultation through my design studio Aroundyou (Home and Office Renovations – Landscape, Interior and Architectural Design).

As a docent for CNI, and my first experience with the GALA, my involvement was to assist Joleen Deatherage (CNI Director of Development & Special Events). This included design of the table center pieces, development of the dinner menu with Kelly Decker (CNI Executive Director) and Judy Fishman (CNI Founder), and assist Joleen with the ‘run of show’ (Coordination of video and lighting, sequencing ques of the shows participants). It was a pleasure to work with everyone at CNI for this event, especially knowing that the fruits of everyone’s labor was for such a good cause – our children’s connection to nature. Note: View the set up and transformation of the Ahmanson Ballroom at the Skirball Cultural Center on my Flickr photo set titled ‘May 2012 – CNI Gala.

You can reference CNI’s available programs and events through the CNI website (Which is linked here). I recently participated with one of the ‘Discovery Field Trips’ to the Ballona Wetlands. It was eye-opening to see the excitement and curiosity on the kids faces. Photos of the field trip can be referenced on my Flickr set titled ‘CNI Ballona March 2012′. The next scheduled event at CNI is ‘KIDS ROCK’ co-hosted with The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The event is a ‘Eco’ family festival and concert (Dance, learn, eat, create & explore). Kids Rock is June 10, 2012, held in Hancock Park, Los Angeles, between LACMA & The Le Brea Tar Pits). Hope to see you at Kids Rock!

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