CLEVELAND (January 24, 2020) – Great Lakes Science Center celebrates the innovative spirit of countless engineers, scientists, inventors and astronauts through its exhibits and programs every day. On Saturday, March 7, our guests have the chance to be a part of that innovative spirit at the inaugural Great Science Gala!

The new fundraising gala also kicks off the first edition of the Ion Awards, honoring community leaders who have transformed big dreams into reality. The inaugural recipients Stephen E. Wall and the family of Anthony E. “Tony” Smith, were instrumental in the inception and creation of the Science Center.

The celebration gets underway at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour including an exclusive tasting by Cleveland Whiskey and a silent auction featuring unique experiences and amazing items from Cleveland and beyond. The event continues with a seated dinner prepared by Levy Restaurants and a live auction by local auctioneer extraordinaire, Peacock. Dinner culminates in the Ion Award presentation, emceed by award-winning journalist, Russ Mitchell. 

Guests end the evening with Liftoff!—Cleveland’s best space party—an after-party like no other, featuring live music, dancing, unforgettable science demonstrations, an after-dark exploration of the Science Center, and a balloon drop at midnight. 

Proceeds support and expand Great Lakes Science Center’s education programs, such as Great Science Academy, free days for the public, robotics training for local students, and free field trips, ensuring that science, technology, engineering and math learning is accessible to all. The Science Center has served families, teachers, and students in Northeast Ohio for 24 years, working every day to fulfill our mission to bring science, technology, engineering and math to life for the next generation of engineers, scientists and the insatiably curious. 

Tickets to the gala are $250 per person and include complimentary valet parking and all of the evening’s activities from the cocktail hour, to dinner and awards, and the after-party. There is also the option of a $60 Liftoff! Space Party ticket with a 9 p.m. entry, drinks and all of the after-party festivities. 

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

(Editor’s note: The Science Center’s fall-winter schedule is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. The Science Center will be open Monday, February 17 for Presidents Day.)

About Great Lakes Science Center

Great Lakes Science Center, home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, makes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) come alive for more than 300,000 visitors a year through hundreds of hands-on exhibits, temporary exhibitions, the Cleveland Clinic DOME Theater, Steamship William G. Mather, daily science demonstrations, seasonal camps, and more. The Science Center is funded in part by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Visit for more information.