Discovery Playhouse to host third annual FUNdraiser Friday

Monday, March 19, 2012

The now-empty second floor of the Discovery Playhouse children's museum will be transformed Friday into an elegant garden party for its third annual FUNdraiser Friday.

More than 250 tickets have already been sold for this year's event, called Birdhouse Bash.

Several hand crafted birdhouses designed by both children and adults during the museum's birdhouse-making contest earlier this year will be auctioned during the Birdhouse Bash.

"From functional to whimsical, we really let them be open to how they wanted to create these bird houses," said Jennifer Mullix, executive director of Discovery Playhouse.

There will also be five birdhouse shaped cakes created by Tamera Johnson of Elegant Cakes. Johnson studied under TLC's Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro.

Guests at the fundraiser will be the first to see a new museum exhibit called Healthy Beginings sponsored by SoutheastHEALTH.

The exhibit includes a baby nursery and pediatrician's office where children can play and learn, Mullix said.

Organizers hope to raise $25,000 at this year's FUNdraiser to support educational programs and exhibits at Discovery Playhouse. Last year's event brought in just under $10,000, Mullix said.

In addition to the birdhouses, other silent auction prizes include family trips to Chicago and Memphis, tickets to Walt Disney World and a year of dairy products from Organic Valley.

A raffle prize drawing will feature a private dinner party hosted by Bravo TV's "Top Chef Texas" contestant chef Heather Terhune. Terhune is Mullix's sister and she loves playing with her niece and nephew at Discovery Playhouse, Mullix said, so she wanted to offer her skills to help with the event. She will also be making a feature appetizer during the Birdhouse Bash. Other upscale appetizers will be catered by Port Cape Girardeau. The band Law Dogs will provide live music.

"We wanted something springtime and kind of fun that fits into what we're doing," said Jennie Beltz, event co-chairwoman who helped come up with the birdhouse theme.

Having the event on the vacant second floor will help patrons see the potential for future exhibits to be built there, she said.

"We will have renderings of about six exhibits we'd like to do in the future for them to see and help us grow," Beltz said.

Event organizers also want attendees to see what is already on display and available at the Discovery Playhouse, so wine tastings stations will be set up throughout the museum exhibits.

"We want them to see what the children experience and see the possibilities," Beltz said.

Beltz said supporting Discovery Playhouse not only benefits children and families in the immediate area, but helps attract families from all over the region.

About 40 percent of those who visit Discovery Playhouse come from outside of Cape Girardeau and Jackson, Mullix said.

Discovery Playhouse was founded in 2006 as The Southeast Missouri Children's Museum, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. It opened at 502 Broadway in the spring of 2010.

The Birdhouse Bash will be from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday at Discovery Playhouse. It will close early, at 1 p.m. Friday, to prepare for the event. Tickets are $45 for singles, $80 per couple or $300 for a table of eight. For more information, call 335-7529 or visit www.discoveryplayhouse.org.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

502 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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