Richland College Hosts Fundraiser to Renovate Planetarium Honoring Astronaut Buzz Aldrin

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Richland College will host a fundraising event on Fri., Oct. 30 to modernize and rename its planetarium in honor of retired U.S. Air Force pilot and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who in 1969 helped pilot Apollo 11 to the first landing on the moon. The new Aldrin Planetarium will be transformed into a hands-on learning environment for science, engineering, and arts students, while serving as an important resource for all North Texas communities.

Richland College, a college of the Dallas County Community College District, will host a fundraising event on Fri., Oct. 30 to modernize and rename its planetarium in honor of retired U.S. Air Force pilot and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who in 1969 helped pilot Apollo 11 to the first landing on the moon. The new Aldrin Planetarium will be transformed into a hands-on learning environment for science, engineering, and arts students, while serving as an important resource for all North Texas communities.

"This landmark event will be an opportunity for people not only to meet Buzz Aldrin, but also to make a real difference in the lives of students and young people, who will be given a chance to explore and appreciate the wonder and beauty of space with this new, state-of-the-art, multi-purpose planetarium," says Michael Gorton, former Richland College adjunct astronomy/physics instructor and successful local businessman. "The planetarium will encourage and inspire young people to follow in Buzz's footsteps and Neil Armstrong's famous words - "A small step for man and a giant leap for mankind". Aldrin and the new facility will inspire and motivate community college students and tomorrow makers to pursue careers in science and engineering.

With the support of monetary donations, the Aldrin Planetarium will be transformed into a world-class multimedia facility serving the North Texas area - and beyond. It will raise the quality of education in the area to a new level by bringing together students, educators, corporations and organizations designed to build communities and enrich lives through celestial presentations that teach, entertain, and train.

The kickoff fundraising event on Oct. 30 will feature Aldrin's presentation, "Landing on the Moon and Getting to Mars."

4 p.m. at Richland College:
•$300 VIP admission includes: reserved seating, meet and greet with Buzz Aldrin, tour of planetarium to be restored, tour of Richland's new LEED Platinum-designed and constructed science building, photo with Buzz Aldrin, copy of his book, Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon, and signed copy of the photo "Buzz on the Moon."

5 p.m. at Richland College
•$150 general admission includes: general seating and signed photo copy of the photo "Buzz on the Moon"
•Later that evening, a private dinner will be hosted for corporate sponsors. For those interested in attending, please contact Heidi Boetsch-Loewinsohn at 469-831-2928.

"As one of the most respected, innovative community colleges in Texas, Richland College is the ideal institution for fostering this kind of advancement in education and technology," Michael Gorton adds. "We're not only honoring a great American hero in Buzz Aldrin - who ranks as a modern Christopher Columbus -- but also creating a rich environment for developing great scientific minds and future explorers. We invite the entire city of Dallas to work on this remarkable opportunity and make it happen with excellence."

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Anitra Cotton
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