press & News

RMSC Sold-Out Crowd Helps Museum Achieve Goals and Raise Nearly $145,000 at Fundraising Gala

    ROCHESTER, NY—The Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) met the revenue goals with a sold-out crowd for its fifth annual major fundraising event, Innovation Celebration. Together, community members, RMSC members, donors, volunteers and staff made the evening a huge accomplishment, raising nearly $145,000. The agriculture-themed event, which took place on Friday, September 30, showcased regional science in action and had a sold-out crowd of more than 500 people.

    “We have achieved this level of success with the wonderful support from so many companies and individuals,” said Kate Bennett, president, RMSC. “We raised vital funds that will help us to continue inspiring guests of all ages and backgrounds in science and discovery in new, immersive ways.”

    At the evening event, attendees explored agricultural science and beyond, networked with fellow RMSC supporters and got hands-on with the Museum’s 200 interactive exhibits. Throughout the evening, RMSC experts performed spectacular experiments and attendees viewed nature videos from the Cumming Nature Center. Guests got an exclusive preview of select exhibit components, including an augmented reality sandbox that will soon be on display in the upcoming Elements of the Extreme exhibition. Attendees enjoyed an open bar with specialty drinks, food stations and hors d’oeuvres, as well as live music from The Uptown Groove. Silent and live auction items included many exclusive items and experiences.

    Support for Innovation Celebration helps the RMSC continue to engage families, friends and groups in exciting discovery experiences, and serve as a resource for informal STEM education. The RMSC inspires interest in STEM through hands-on experiences, spectacular science experiments, explosions and theatrical performances, a preschool, science day camps and 1.2 million collection items—many that tell the story of Rochester’s innovative past. Support also allows the RMSC to serve the community by subsidizing admission and transportation costs, making it possible for nearly 10,000 underserved children, families and school groups to visit each year. 

    The chairs of this year’s Innovation Celebration were Liv and Jeff Burkey. Honorary chairs were Christine and Steven Whitman. Jeff is a current trustee of the RMSC board and a past RMSC Preschool graduate. Christine is an honorary trustee.

    Donations can be made to the RMSC by contacting Katie Mackey at 585.697.1973, or online at

    The RMSC hosts its Innovation Celebration annually. The fundraising event themes change yearly and support the RMSC mission.

    For high-resolution images from the event and additional information, contact Amanda Bayer, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC at 585.697.1962 or or visit the Press / News section of our website at

                Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.