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2001 Arthur C. Clarke Gala
The Space Frontier Foundation presented the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Gala at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on November 15, 2001. The black tie fundraising event honored Sir Arthur C. Clarke, eminent scientist and author of 2001, A Space Odyssey. Beneficiaries of the Gala were James Lovell's The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, The Arthur C. Clarke Centre for Modern Technologies (ACCMT) and The SETI Institute Haughton Mars Project. Photos are courtesy Rob Godwin, Brook Mantia and Elaine Walker.

Rick Tumlinson and Arthur C. Clarke
Foundation President Rick Tumlinson talks to a 3-D hologram of Arthur C. Clarke which was beamed in live from Clarke's offices in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

CLARKE GALA REPORT by Brook Mantia, Foundation Secretary

Several years ago, the Space Frontier Foundation moved its headquarters from New York to L.A. One of the objectives was, as a media organization, to infiltrate the entertainment community and get our vision out into society on a broader, cultural level. Wouldn't it be totally cool to get Hollywood to endorse/deliver our message, etc.?

Well, thanks to the Herculean efforts of mastermind James George, that dream came true at the Clarke Gala. We have finally breached the Hollywood fortress in a big way, with James leading the charge. This has definitely raised the bar of excellence for us, opening all kinds of new exciting possibilities.

You can still see highlights at James Cameron's www.earthship.tv if you missed the live webcast. (Be patient, it takes a while to come up.) I'm sure others can give a more statistical/technical analysis of the affair, but as an attendee, I'll just share a few of the highlights from my perspective:

Just going to the famous Playboy Mansion was a big thrill, but the best part is getting to tell all your friends about it! There was a 15 foot tall Monolith lit up by spot lights on the front lawn, with costumed ape-men from "2001" curiously inspecting the arriving guests, and schmoozing with the crowd throughout the evening. Although we didn't actually get inside the mansion, the VIP reception and silent auction was held around the pool area behind the mansion, where we also had a chance to investigate the legendary "Grotto." Very cool - although the Jacuzzi made it very steamy as well. (But everyone kept their clothes on.)

Celebs & VIPs spotted: Patrick Stewart, James Lovell, James Cameron, Morgan Freeman, Bill Paxton, Bob Crippen, Buzz Aldrin, Fred Clarke (Arthur's brother), Frank Drake, Dennis Tito, Fiorella Terenzi, Jeff Baxter and his band of rockers, Dan Richter (the bone-throwing ape-man, "Moonwatcher," in 2001), HAL9000 and of course, Sir Arthur himself.

The live satellite link with Arthur in Sri Lanka was itself impressive, but the holographic projection (a technologic debut from what I'm told) that had him appear to be standing at his own podium was icing on the cake! There was a delightful dialog between him and Patrick Stewart, the evening's MC. (Larry King couldn't make it...what a shame...;-)

Foundationers & friends spotted: Board members Bob Noteboom, Bill Boland, Denise Norris, and Rick Tumlinson; Bob Hillhouse, Jim Busby, Eric Telenius, Lee Valentine, Charles Miller, Ed Wright, George French, the Godwin brothers, Dennis Wingo, Emily Eelkema, Lena Banks, George Whitesides, Loretta Hidalgo, John Wright, Pascal Lee and Elaine Walker.

Tremendous thanks and congratulations to James George, and also to Jim Busby, Bob Hillhouse and Lena Banks, who did their fair share of jumping through hoops to make this a stunning success!

Gala Party at the Playboy Mansion

The Clarke Gala Party outside the Playboy Mansion.
Foundation President Rick Tumlinson and three new Foundation volunteers.

James Cameron

Patrick Stewart and Morgan Freeman
Director James Cameron speaks at the Clarke Gala.
Actors Patrick Stewart and Morgan Freeman at the 2001 Clarke Gala.

Foundation group at Clarke Gala

Elaine Walker
Left to right: Bob Hillhouse; Foundation treasurer, Bill Boland, Foundation board member, and his date, Christina; Bob Noteboom, Foundation board member; Brook Mantia, Foundation secretary, and her husband, Vince; Denise Norris, Foundation board member.
Elaine Walker of the prospace musical group Zia and a brand new Foundation Advocate flashes her Advocate's pin at the Clarke Gala.

Beauty and the Beasts

Lena Banks, sponsorship co-chair for the Clarke Gala, and a couple close friends.
Fred Clarke, brother of Arthur C. Clarke.

Alvin Hale, Bill Paxton and Robert Godwin

Dan Richter
Left to right: astronomer Allen Hale, actor Bill Paxton, author Robert Godwin.
Actor Dan Richter, who played Moonwatcher in 2001, A Space Odyssey.

Patrick Stewart and Arthur C. Clarke

James George and Bob Noteboom
Patrick Stewart converses with Arthur C. Clarke's live hologram beamed in from Sri Lanka.
Foundation Development Director James George and Foundation board member Bob Noteboom.

Dennis and Dr. Jim Busby

Pascal Lee
Dennis Gilliam, space memorabilia collector, and Dr. Jim Busby, Coordinator of the Foundation's Return to the Moon project.
Pascal Lee, director of the SETI Haughton Mars Research Station, speaks at the Clarke Gala.

Clarke Gala 2001 group photo
Left to Right: Bob Crippen (1st Shuttle Pilot), John Cameron (movie director), James Cameron (movie director), Alan Hale (discoverer, Hale Bopp Comet), George Whitesides (Permission To Dream), Frank Drake (Chairman, Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence), Jim Lovell (Commander, Apollo 13), Pascal Lee (SETI Haughton Mars Research Station Director), Buzz Aldrin (LM Pilot, Apollo 11), Patrick Stewart (actor), Frank Braun (event producer), Bill Paxton (actor), Morgan Freeman (actor), Jeff Setelle, Rick Tumlinson (President, Space Frontier Foundation), Peter Barnett, Jeff Baxter (Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan), Rob Godwin (author), Dan Richter (actor, 2001 a Space Odyssey).

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