Adler Planetarium to Honor Astronaut Lovell and Magellan Foundation

Adler Planetarium to Honor Astronaut Lovell and Magellan Foundation

Adler Planetarium to honor Astronaut Lovell, Magellan Corporation at annual Ball

Adler Planetarium to Honor Longtime Partner Magellan Corp. and American Hero Captain James A. Lovell, Jr. at Celestial Ball. Annual Gala Raises Funds for Education Programs throughout the Museum.

On Saturday, September 8, 2018, the Adler Planetarium Women’s Board will host their biggest fundraising event of the year: 2018 Celestial Ball. This one-of-a-kind fundraiser raises about $1.7 million and supports everything we do. It helps our neighbors see Saturn through a telescope for the first time, our teens find a home in the scientific community, and our guests explore the farthest reaches of our Universe.

Event Co-Chairs of the 2018 Celestial Ball, Lisa H. Bertagna and Mihra Seta, along with Dinner Chairs Pradip Patiath and James O’Connor, will welcome approximately 700 guests, including business, civic and philanthropic leaders in the Chicago community. A highlight of the fall gala season, guests at Celestial Ball will enjoy an elegant cocktail reception and a seated dinner, followed by dancing, all set under the Adler’s stars.

Adler Planetarium, space, stars, planets, astronomy, Chicago lakefront

Adler Planetarium dome, Chicago lakefront

During the gala, the Adler Planetarium will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Captain James A. Lovell, Jr.. Before he helped bring the crew of Apollo 13 safely back to Earth, before Apollo 8, before the Gemini missions, before there was even such a thing as an astronaut, Captain Lovell was a boy who loved rockets. In dedicating his life to space exploration, Captain Lovell has inspired countless young people to dream bigger and rise to every challenge they encounter.

Over the decades, Captain Lovell and his wife, Marilyn, have generously shared their stories with the Adler and our guests. Several items from his personal collection are on display in the Adler’s Mission Moon exhibit, where the Adler invites people of all ages to see America’s first steps into space through the eyes of Captain Lovell and his family. It is an honor for the Adler to present Captain Lovell with a special Lifetime Achievement Award to commemorate the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 8 mission, to celebrate his legacy, and to express our deep appreciation for his friendship.

A special pre-Celestial Ball press event will be held in the Mission Moon gallery at the Adler Planetarium on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 9:30 am. Members of the media will have the opportunity to attend a question and answer session with Captain Lovell. To RSVP for the event, contact Jennifer Howell at

The Adler is also pleased to recognize Magellan Corporation as our our 2018 Corporate Partner Award honoree. Led by President Bob Arthur, Magellan Corporation is committed to supporting local organizations who engage young students and explorers of all ages in new and unique ways. As the first sponsor of ’Scopes in the City, the Adler’s urban telescope outreach program, and the sole sponsor of Planets on the Path (a scale model of our Solar System that spanned Chicago’s entire lakefront in 2015), Magellan continues to help the Adler inspire our neighbors to explore the community and the Universe with us.

For more information about this event, and to purchase tickets, please visit:

About the Adler Planetarium Women’s Board:
Since 2002, the Women’s Board has been the Adler’s lead partner in supporting science education programs, research, and community outreach. The Board is vital to the museum’s efforts to reach underserved youth—with a special focus on young women—in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). For more information on the Women’s Board of the Adler Planetarium, please visit: board/

About the Adler Planetarium:
The Adler Planetarium—America’s First Planetarium—is more than a museum; it is a laboratory, a classroom, and a community exploring the Universe together. Each year, almost 600,000 visitors experience the museum’s interactive exhibitions, live planetarium shows, hands-on, minds-on STEM education programs, and world-class collections. Founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler, the Adler Planetarium is a recognized leader in public engagement. The museum’s scientists, historians, and educators inspire the next generation of explorers and invite you to explore space with us.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

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