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Press Box

Bank of America Charitable Foundation contributes $1 million toward Museum of Discovery and Science Capital Campaign

Grant enables Museum to move forward on first phase of renewal project,
helps create Visitor Pavilion at Museum’s entrance

February 27, 2008 Fort Lauderdale – The Museum of Discovery and Science today received a $1 million grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation in support of the $20 million “Building New Pathways to Discovery” capital campaign. Ken Lewis, the Chairman and CEO of Bank of America, announced the grant during a reception and capital campaign update, which included the unveiling of plans for the new Visitor Pavilion in the Museum’s Grand Atrium.

The first phase of the new expansion project will open up the existing lobby area for programming and expand the popular “Discovery Center” children’s area with new interactive water play exhibits. The new Bank of America Visitor Pavilion is expected to be completed in late 2008, enabling visitors to purchase tickets, obtain program and membership information, and make reservations for future events before entering the renovated lobby.

During the reception, Kim L. Cavendish, Museum President/CEO, thanked the foundation for its contribution to the Museum’s capital campaign. Joining her in expressing their appreciation were Jonathan Ferrando, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Discovery and Science; Jack Seiler, Florida State Representative and Museum Board Member; Mark Maller, Broward Market President for Bank of America; and various community leaders and Museum supporters.

Cavendish said, “I am extremely pleased that Bank of America is supporting our capital expansion and renewal project with this generous gift. The new Bank of America Visitor Pavilion will assure easy access to visitor services and create space for science demonstrations that will enhance our visitor experience. This wonderful gift also meets the terms of the $1 million challenge issued to us by JM Family Enterprises recently, and actually generates $2 million dollars for our campaign.”

This grant is a great boost to the Museum’s three-year, $20 million capital campaign to fund an expansion of the Museum that will effectively double its public space. The expansion plan includes a 27,000-square-foot EcoDiscovery Center wing. This new wing will offer exhibits that will be dedicated primarily to Florida’s environment, including interpretation of its unique ecology, the Everglades, and the impact of humankind, hurricanes, and climate change.

“Organizations like The Museum of Discovery and Science play a critical role in helping create a vibrant community.” said Ken Lewis. “Not only does the museum serve as an economic engine, attracting tourists and other businesses to the area, but each year the organization engages thousands of young people in interactive environmental, science and engineering education. At Bank of America, we recognize that the future Ft. Lauderdale and Florida’s economic flexibility and adaptability, particularly in high-paying industries such as biotechnology, space exploration, and information technology, benefit from institutions like this, which is why we are so pleased to support this community treasure.”

Today’s grant announcement is the latest chapter in the Museum’s 25-year partnership with Bank of America and its predecessor banks. Through philanthropic and sponsorship support, the bank and foundation have contributed more than $820,000 to the museum since 1983. Bank of America established the Hammock Theatre at the museum, providing a multi-functional space for meetings, lectures, video screenings, and birthday parties. Additionally, the bank is entering its thirteenth year as the title sponsor of the museum’s Bank of America Wine and Culinary Celebration, an evening of progressive wine and food pairings from 30 of South Florida’s top restaurants and chefs. This annual event helps raise funds for the museum’s educational programming.

The Museum’s “Building New Pathways to Discovery” campaign is being jointly chaired by the following distinguished community leaders: Jon Ferrando, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Discovery and Science; Tom Angelo, Esq. of Angelo and Banta, P.A.; Keith Koenig, President of City Furniture; Terry Stiles, Chairman/CEO of Stiles Corporation. To date, over $14.5 million has been raised in support of the project.

Since the “new” Museum of Discovery and Science opened in 1992, nearly 7 million people have been entertained and educated with interactive and immersive exhibits, engaging educational programs, larger-than-life films in the AutoNation® IMAX® Theater, and a live animal collection. The new EcoDiscovery Center wing will feature interactive exhibits with a special focus on the Everglades’ rich and fragile ecosystem and how global environmental change is affecting Florida, as well as an iconic indoor/outdoor fresh water otter habitat. Other highlights include a simulated airboat ride through the Everglades and a high wire gravity bicycle. The expansion will also include laboratory/classrooms that will increase the Museum’s capacity for classes, camps, and school programs.


Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is in its fourth year of achieving an unprecedented 10-year goal to donate $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will give more than $225 million in 2008, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 650,000 hours in 2007 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit




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Museum of Discovery and Science / Blockbuster IMAX Theater - 401 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale FL 33312. Phone 954-467-6637
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