Ballard Shares Titanic Tales at Museum Gala

Matt Lorentzen, Frances Fisher, Robert Ballard, John NiblackMatt Lorentzen, Frances Fisher, Dr. Robert Ballard and John Niblack.

PALM BEACH, FL – Oceanographer and explorer Robert Ballard showed off rare deep-sea video and regaled a rapt audience of South Florida Science Museum supporters with stories from a few of his underwater adventures.

The discoverer of the sunken R.M.S. Titanic and German battleship Bismarck was the featured speaker at the museum’s sold-out gala, “What Lies Beneath: An Evening of Nautical Mystery and Adventure,” held at The Breakers.

Heath Randolph, Karly Randolph

Heath and Karly Randolph

The evening began with a cocktail reception in the courtyard before guests moved to the Circle Dining Room, where waves of blue lights floated around the room and glass fish were placed at every place setting. Host Committee Chairmen Liz and Matt Fifield announced the museum’s expansion plans and challenged guests to help stock the museum’s expanding aquarium by sponsoring a fish. More than 85 fish were purchased by guests.

“Bob’s rare video footage of huge sea worms living deep in the Marianna Trench, where life previously was thought to be nonexistent, was a complete eye-opener,” said Lew Crampton, president and CEO of the museum. “Bob’s overall message – we live on a fragile planet that one day may not be able to accommodate us anymore – will resonate with us for years to come.”

Afsy Pottash, Carter Pottash

Afsy and Carter Pottash

Honorary chairs for the 2012 gala, held March 30, 2012, were Frances Fisher, Matthew Lorentzen and John Niblack. Host Committee chairmen were Liz and Matthew Fifield, Allison and Stuart Haft, Afsy and Carter Pottash and Heath Randolph.

Presenting sponsor for the event was PNC Wealth Management. Corporate sponsors were Betteridge, FPL, Saks Fifth Avenue Palm Beach and Wells Fargo Private Bank. Media sponsor was Palm Beach Illustrated.

Founded in 1961 by the Junior League of the Palm Beaches, the non-profit museum features more than 50 hands-on exhibits, a digital planetarium, freshwater and saltwater aquariums, as well as natural history exhibitions. More than 125,000 people visit the museum each year, and the museum reaches more than 45,000 students through on-site workshops and outreach programs to local schools.

For more information, call (561) 832-1988 or visit the South Florida Science Museum.

Click photos to enlarge.

Photos by Lucien Capehart Photography.

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