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Unprecedented Challenge Grant Announced

MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE ANNOUNCES UNPRECEDENTED CHALLENGE GRANT TO BENEFIT NEW PEROT MUSEUM AS PART OF 2011 DINNER IN THE WILD FUNDRAISING EVENT

“Let’s get it done” becomes battle cry as Museum leader announces unique matching opportunity that could maximize every gift up to four times; tickets, sponsorships and donations of all sizes made by December 31, 2011 could benefit from match

DALLAS (June 23, 2011) – “Let’s get it done.” It’s become the battle cry as leaders from the Museum of Nature & Science work to close out the $185-million campaign to build the new Perot Museum of Nature & Science, which is currently under construction in Dallas’ Victory Park. And thanks to several generous challenge grants tied to this year’s Dinner in the Wild fundraiser, every donation made between now and December 31, 2011, has the potential to deliver a 4-to-1 impact!

“Wow – talk about a return on investment. There’s never been a better time to climb on board and help us build the Perot Museum,” said Forrest Hoglund, chair of the Perot Museum expansion campaign. “This is a huge opportunity to support science education, which is so crucial for our region and nation to compete globally. Let’s get it done – now is the time to join the team!”

This unprecedented opportunity is the result of a $2-million challenge grant for the Dinner in the Wild event coupled with a $10-million overall campaign challenge. Layered together, that means that every dollar donated between now and December 31, 2011, could go four times as far*. The opportunity is open to individuals along with corporate and foundation donors.

With Hoglund’s promise that it “will be the wildest Dinner in the Wild shindig in history,” the 2011 gala is set for Thursday, November 17, 2011, at Fair Park’s Automobile Building. The theme is Night at the Museum, and it will provide guests a sneak peek of the future and showcase the Perot Museum’s 11 exhibit halls (more details to be unveiled at a later date!).

The 2011 Dinner in the Wild event chairs are Christie and Frank Scardino, and the honorary chairs are Margot and Ross Perot. The underwriting co-chairs are Anne and Ross Helbing and Caroline and Glenn Gehan, and the auction chair is Lauren Glazer. Lending support is a blue-ribbon advisory committee that includes Museum chair Peggy Allison and her husband Richard, the Museum’s immediate-past chair Frank-Paul King and his wife Eugenia, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Lyda Hill, Marianne and Roger Staubach, all five of the Perot children, and many others. Joining them is a dynamic 200-member host committee (see last page for entire list of advisory and host committee members). Underwriting levels for Dinner in the Wild 2011 range from $2,500 to $1 million. Individual tickets are $500 and $250.

“Without a doubt, our 2011 Dinner in the Wild: Night at the Museum event will be the Museum’s biggest extravaganza to date,” said Christie Scardino. “We’re just a little over a year from opening the new Perot Museum, and the momentum is really revving up as this dream becomes a reality.”

To date, the Museum of Nature & Science has raised $158 million of the $185-million campaign goal, which provides funding for site acquisition, exhibition planning and design, construction of the new building, education programs and an endowment.

Described by The Dallas Morning News architecture critic Scott Cantrell as “the boldest piece of modern architecture to hit Dallas,” the Perot Museum of Nature & Science is designed by 2005 Pritzker Prize Laureate Thom Mayne and his California-based firm Morphosis. The new museum is located on a 4.7-acre site at 1155 Broom St. at the northwest corner of Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Field Street in Victory Park adjacent to downtown Dallas. The structure will stand approximately 170 feet tall. It is set to open in early 2013.

Frank Scardino notes that in addition to “good feelings” that come from being generous, there are benefits to giving, ranging from tax deductions and donor recognition, to tickets and special invitations. And he stresses that the matching opportunity is available to anyone no matter how they choose to participate in the campaign.

“While we’d love for people to join us for the Night at the Museum event because it’s going to be a great night, we want to emphasize that this campaign is truly for everybody,” said Frank Scardino. “Whether it’s a kid donating his or her allowance or chore money, or adults giving up their daily coffee splurge, everyone’s invited to come help us build the new Perot Museum.”

To donate online, as well as to learn more about the benefits of giving, visit natureandscience.org and click the $x4 icon or call 972.201.0555.

* The opportunity for the four-to-one impact is valid through December 31, 2011 or until the $2 million matching goal is met. After the $2 million challenge is fulfilled, all gifts will be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis through October 31, 2012, or until the $10 million challenge grant goal is met, based on whichever is achieved first.

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About the Museum of Nature & Science
The Museum of Nature & Science – the result of a unique merger in 2006 between the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children's Museum – is an AAM-accredited non-profit educational organization located in Dallas's Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The facility also includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The Museum of Nature & Science is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and HP. The Museum of Nature & Science also is building a new $185-million museum on a 4.7-acre site in Victory Park to complement the Fair Park facilities. To learn more about the Museum of Nature & Science, please visit natureandscience.org.

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