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Planetarium Fundraising Event Planned

The Friends of the David M. Brown Planetarium organization is planning a “Night at the Planetarium” fundraising event with young astronomy buffs in mind.

From 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, the Friends and the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club will be holding a marathon session of planetarium shows, to be followed by a chance to look at real stars through NOVAC’s telescopes.

The stargazing will take place outside the planetarium (1426 North Quincy Street). The County will shut off the lights at the nearby Washington-Lee High School track so the dark sky will be visible.

In addition to the shows and the stargazing, there will also be outdoor lessons and science activities throughout the event. The event is especially geared toward children, but all community members are welcome, the group says.

The Friends hope to collect donations of $5 from individuals and $10 from families. The money will go to the group’s effort to renovate the planetarium in order to save it from proposed school budget cuts.

So far the Friends have raised a total of $3,350 from 53 donors, well below the more than $400,000 they’ll need for the renovation. By a timetable set by Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Murphy, the group needs to raise $161,120 by September 31.

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