SUCCESS! Friends' Fantastic Fall Fundraising Fest
Arlington Planetarium

©Kathi Overton

On Saturday, September 20, 2014, the Friends of the Planetarium (FOP) hosted a whirlwind, hour-long Fantastic Fall Fundraising Festival.

The crowd that gathered was treated to live music: a vocal duet headed by Yorktown High School English Teacher Kelly Dillon and her partner, backed up by most of the Yorktown Yahoos!

Yorktown Yahoos

Live music by the Yorktown Yahoos. ©Kathi Overton

While the musicians were performing, they were obligated to dodge a small barrage of incoming missiles from the Rockets! table, headed by FOP Board Member Lee Phillips and his fifth-grade offspring.

rocket demo

Gianna and Maxwell making rockets. ©Kathi Overton

Lee and the twins de­mon­stra­ted simple rockets made from film canisters and Alka Seltzer, air pump rockets, and the musician-threatening baking soda and vinegar missiles fashioned from plastic drink bottles.

rocket making

Maxwell demonstrating film canister projectiles. ©Kathi Overton

The public was well-prepared to understand the principles of rocketry because special guest Sir Isaac Newton was on hand to explain his ingenious Third Law, as well as other principles of natural philosophy, and display his many fasc­inating instruments.


Special Guest Sir Isaac Newton. ©Kathi Overton


Sir Isaac's philosophical intruments. ©Kathi Overton

FOP Board member Kathi Overton (who took all these photographs) and her husband made three batches of liquid nitrogen ice-cream, much to the delight of the onlookers, who were mesmerized by the mystical process.

comet toss

The comet toss. ©Kathi Overton

FOP volunteer Joe Migliaccio covered the Planet Toss game, where par­ticipants threw “flaming hot comets” at various planets and planetary moons.

Lastly, FOP Board member Maria Dittrich renewed several memberships, gratefully accepted donations, and registered new members too!

Thanks to all who came out to kick off the Friends of the Planetarium 2014-2015 season of 3rd weekend programming! Renew your membership today!


©Kathi Overton


Additional reporting by Lee Phillips.