The Coast News Group
The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum will celebrate its annual gala Saturday with a Brazilian theme. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. at 320 North Broadway in Escondido. Courtesy photo
Community Escondido Escondido Featured

Museum adds Brazilian flavor for spring fundraiser

ESCONDIDO — A Brazilian flavor will take over the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum Saturday for its annual spring gala.

The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. at 320 North Broadway and features the culture and cuisine of Brazil. General admission tickets are $95 prior to Saturday and $125 for VIP, while prices increase to for general admission $125 at the door. Attendees must be 21 or older.

Museum Executive Director Javier Guerrero said Saturday’s event benefits their “Access for All” initiative, mobile children’s museum and programming. He said the goal is to raise between $20,000 to $30,000 for those programs with an overall net $40,000.

“We’ve put out in the community about 1,000 memberships benefiting low-income, under served families in Escondido to make sure they have access to the museum,” Guerrero said.

The museum’s profile is rapidly rising, especially after it moved to its new location, Guerrero added. In 2011, attendance topped at 15,000 at the old location, but reached an all-time high of 115,000 in 2015. From 2014 to 2015, the number of visitors increased from 57,000 to 115,000.

“With that comes added involvement and we have a big impact in the community,” Guerrero said.

He said about 20 percent of visitors hail from San Diego, although the museum’s base is in North County. Still, the growing reach of the museum attracts new visitors and donors.

Saturday’s event, meanwhile, keeps in tradition of creating new themes for the gala, which makes for a fresh event, Guerrero said. Previous years have highlighted culture and cuisine from the Caribbean, Italy, India and Spain, to name a few.

“It stays in line with our mission and keeps it fun,” Guerrero added. “Every event is totally different from the last one.”

Guests will be treated to the museum’s new exhibits, mingle in the Children’s Discovery Garden, taste the variety of Brazilian food and drink offerings and enjoy live entertainment with Brazilian music and dance performances. Patrons will also enjoy dancing, photo booth, silent auction, opportunity drawing and a “raise the paddle” to support the museum’s educational programming and initiatives to provide access to hands-on learning for children and families.

Thanks to generous community support at last year’s spring benefit event, the museum was able to expand their interactive exhibits and scholarship programs.

“With the museum in its fifth year, and all of the newly completed, custom, hands-on exhibits, we are thrilled to be able to welcome the community to our museum for a fabulous Brazilian celebration,” Guerrero said. “This will be a really fun evening raising money that is critical to support the educational programs at the museum and our continued growth.”

The gala will provide a taste of real traditional Brazilian cuisine accompanied with wine, craft beer, caipirinha cocktails, coffee bar and desserts. Food stations will be located throughout the museum and guests will be able to sample and enjoy the flavors of some of San Diego’s premier Brazilian restaurants including Sabor de Vida, Rio Catering, Samba Brazilian Cuisine, Brazil by the Bay Market and Sambazon. Complimenting the cuisine and beverages, will be live Brazilian music performances including Bossa Nova, Samba, Forró, Pagode, and MPB by Bossa Lounge Project and Sol e Mar Events, as well as dance performances featuring Samba, Forró, Capoeria and Maculelê by Sol e Mar Events.

Business casual attire is recommended and complimentary valet will be provided.