This month, the Gabby Guy shares the love with The Wellness Community and learns a little about national security when a certain vice president and his wife crash the Delaware Children’s Museum.
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Opening Minds by Opening Museums
The iconic volcano has been bulldozed where the old adult playground known as Kahunaville once stood. A new playground, designed for a much younger set, has since erupted on Wilmington’s Riverfront. The new Delaware Children’s Museum (more than 20 years in the making) finally welcomed the public—as well as donors, elected officials, board members and staff—to its new 37,000-square-foot crayon yellow building during its Grand Opening Gala. Big is the operative word here. The 76-page program book weighed more than a fourth-grader’s backpack, and gargantuan rumors circulated around the “cafeteria” early that the veep and his missus would appear. Of course, with Beau and Hallie Biden as chairs of the event, speculation soared.
No wonder there were so many security personnel at the entrance. Name on list? Check. Metal detector? Check. Camera bag inspected? Check.
Once we finally cleared, it was easy to find DCM public relations pro Paige Winburn, who looked pretty in I’m-with-the-museum yellow and welcomed as warmly as sunshine. She also introduced us to Kim Congo-Tucker, mother of Chandler, Cheris, and Chase, who, she said, “will love this place.” The family is moving back to Wilmo from Florida, where they often visit the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. “With the DCM opening, we won’t have to go to Philly all of the time,” Kim told us. With interactive exhibits such as the three-story globe called The Stratosphere, a Funky Forest that lets kids shape their own environments, and with a money management center called Bank on It, Philly will be coming to us.
DCM executive director Julie Van Blarcom and board president Bill Smith were both very excited. “If I were five I’d be jumping up and down, but I’m not, darn it,” exclaimed Julie. She and Bill greeted the 900 guests joyfully, including U.S. Senator Tom Carper, “who has supported us through each mile of this journey,” Bill noted.
We found Greg and Patricia Gurev, whose IT company, My Sherpa, did all the DCM’s computer stuff (technical term). Patty looked lovely in a lavender ruffle-tiered cocktail dress. They agreed that opening DCM is “the tipping point for the riverfront.”
We also saw Bill Dowling of Mobius Media, the ever-stunning Nikki Maldonado of Salon 828, Peggy Courtney of the MOMs Committee with hubby Jeff Courtney of DCM sponsor J.P. Morgan, and Delebrity designer Stephen Mattola, who enjoyed some mutual admiration with Ms. Van Blarcom. Stephen was her go-to man for an early color consult.
Suddenly herded back to the press’s holding pen, I knew the Bidens had arrived. Joe (oops, I mean Mr. Vice President) and a very tan Beau both looked sharp. Hallie introduced her father-in-law and Jill. (Oops. I mean Mrs. Vice President). The vice president reminded us that “it’s not just about how things are built, but how they can build,” and that includes futures for DCM’s young visitors. Ciao for now.