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Butterfly Ball Updates

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Friends of the Nature Museum,

I hope this finds you in a place of safety and good health for both you and your family. Like many businesses, we have made the decision to temporarily close the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Following guidance from the CDC, we are also canceling the Butterfly Ball, our largest annual celebration of the Nature Museum, scheduled for May 1.

As a past supporter of the Nature Museum and the Butterfly Ball, you know it is our major source of funding, supporting all of our educational programs, scientific research, and immersive exhibits. And, it is a night of celebration, heralding the start of spring with joy that we could all use right now. 

But like many of you, I am instead left processing how this situation developed so rapidly and how it continues to evolve. Through it all, one thing is unquestionably clear to me — we need science.

If this crisis has already taught us anything, it’s that our collective fate lies in a better understanding and appreciation for nature and science; in the hands of capable doctors and researchers; and in a stronger respect for knowledge, expertise, and information.

And these are the fundamental building blocks we lay every day for Chicago’s students. Everything about the Nature Museum is intended to ignite the sparks of curiosity, wonder, and ingenuity in science for students — sparks that will illuminate answers to our most complex challenges. So I am asking you now, our region’s civic and corporate leaders, to please support this vital work at the Nature Museum by making a gift to the Butterfly Ball.

In this time of change and challenge you can still assist the Nature Museum: 

  • If you are a past table supporter, personally: please return the reply card linked here and again support us at the same level or higher. Your full gift will be tax deductible.
  • If you are a past table supporter, through your company: we hope you can garner your organization’s support at the same level or higher. Your full gift will be tax deductible.
  • If you were a past supporter through the paddle raise: please consider making a tax-deductible gift to the Nature Museum using the enclosed reply card.
  • If you have supported the Nature Museum in other ways: please consider a tax-deductible gift.

While we cannot host the Butterfly Ball this year, we still need your support to meet our $2.1 million fundraising goal. Your gift ensures that the Nature Museum will continue our mission to teach nature and science, with hands-on lessons in underserved classrooms across Chicago, engaging field trips for schools, and our own exhibits at the Museum.

Will you please assist us by making a gift as you are able? If you have any questions or need assistance in making your gift, please contact Marc Miller, Vice President of External Affairs, at mmiller@naturemuseum.org. If you’d like to make your gift online, please do so at naturemuseum.org/ButterflyBall.

Many of us are looking for small outlets of normalcy that we’ll have left over the coming weeks and surely we’re all looking forward to when we can get back to business as usual. When that time comes, remember that now, more than ever, we need science.  

With thanks — and with hopes that you and your family are safe, 

President and CEO, 

Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

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