The Circle of Friends, a support group for Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena, held its light-hearted benefit Saturday night at the Langham Huntington Pasadena for an important cause: to raise funds for Kidspace Community Outreach program that supports approximately 80,000 underserved members of the community by allowing free access to the museum.
This year’s theme for the event was “British Invasion,” and Circle members and guests dressed up in costumes that represented anything and everything about England – some even as Redcoats of the American revolutionary period.
Others came dressed as British royalty, Sherlock Holmes, the Beatles, Elton John, James Bond, Ausin Powers and characters from “Pride and Prejudice,” among other brightly clad guests in plaid, flowers and bright colors.
An estimated 300 guests enjoyed both silent and live auctions, raffles, dinner, and dancing, all so they could make a difference in the lives of children in Southern California. The event also commemorated Circle of Friends’ 29 years as a support group for the museum.
“In 2019, more than 24 percent of the 390,000 guests that visited the museum were able to do so because of the Kidspace for All access programs,” Kate Kohorst, Circle of Friends President for 2019-2020, said during the event. “The money we raise tonight will go to Kidspace for All, furthering the number of guests impacted by your generous support. It brings me great joy to think of the impact that we can have on a child’s future by joining together and raising money for many deserving children who would otherwise not have access to this wonderful museum.”
Mike Bryant, interim CEO and Board president of Kidspace Children’s Museum, said the support they have been receiving has helped strengthen and expand the museum’s role in the community.
“Our attendance and access programs continue to grow, but most importantly we are called upon as a resource for early childhood development,” Bryant said. “I am particularly proud that we are building meaningful partnerships with Art Center, USC, and Growing Together Pasadena. These relationships emphasize the importance of Kidspace’s inclusive, informal learning approach and interactive environments.”
Circle of Friends also holds an annual Pumpkin Festival at Brookside Park that’s been held for the past 25 years. Started in 1994 as a safe alternative to trick-or-treating, this festival has grown into a two-day family event attended by nearly 20,000 people each year. Families from all over Los Angeles come to the Festival to enjoy carnival games, bouncers, a pumpkin patch, and free entertainment.
Admission to the festival is free, with tickets required for various activities.
Mary Forrest and Christine Muller, co-chairs for the Circle of Friends Benefit for 2019-2020, said their group, since its inception in 1991, has worked to support and aid in the efforts of Kidspace, with one steadfast commitment to providing children with a “safe, fun, and nurturing environment where they can cultivate a love for learning.”
For more information about Circle of Friends and their activities, visit www.kidspacemuseum.org/support/circle-of-friends.