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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Become a mad scientist and support STEM education at HighWire Lounge this Saturday

    Do good and be social. That is the mantra of local organization Social DoGooder, founded by Alyssa Gallion. Saturday night, she will walk the walk as her creation presents the Mad Science Party at the HighWire Lounge downtown, the proceeds from which will help support the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation.

    Starting out, Gallion was only looking to create a gathering place for her friends and family in Tucson as a way to become more socially active around town. She wanted to not only increase awareness of local events, but help contribute to their causes as well.

    With Gallion’s help, Saturday night the HighWire Lounge will be the manifestation of something out of a science fiction movie, or at least a Tucson rendition of one. With a bar stocked full of experimental cocktails sporting some of the wackiest ingredients you’d hope to find — dry ice, pop rocks, cotton candy, and maybe a little smoke and fire — this Mad Science cocktail party has a little bit of everything, Gallion said.

    The proceeds of this odd and eccentric night will benefit SARSEF, an organization that offers free educational outreach to the K-12 students of Southern Arizona, specifically focused on science and engineering. In all, SARSEF reaches out to 75,000 children throughout seven counties each year.

    Liz Baker, director of research at SARSEF, does not overlook the impact an event like the Mad Science Party can have on her organization. She says that since SARSEF is relatively small, exposure like this helps. This is the organization’s first time being the focus of a charity event, and she is thrilled. She immediately sees the benefit to the students.

    “When the kids come up to you after they’ve received an award, and they are smiling as they say to you that they never would have considered themselves to be good at science, that is what means the most,” Baker said. With the proceeds from Saturday night, she is excited thinking about what they mean for the future.

    Baker implores community members to take a walk on the wild side this Saturday at HighWire, not only for a good time, but to benefit the children. Meanwhile, Gallion is preparing the finer details before the party begins tomorrow.

    “SARSEF is a great organization,” Gallion said. “They are helping today’s youth become the next movers and shakers in the math, science and engineering field, and we are dedicated to helping charities share their message to an audience of like-minded individuals interested in attending social events for the greater good.”

    The event is also supported by one of the sweetest non-profits in town. Cakes for Causes will provide cupcakes for the event. Cakes for Causes was originally founded following the Gabrielle Giffords shooting in 2011 as a way to bring the community together to heal.

    Rene Luedeman, founder and executive director of the nonprofit, has a simple yet powerful message to provide through her work: she provides what she calls “sugar hugs” to people, because as she puts it, a “thank you” with sugar shows community members just how much they are loved.

    With cupcakes, cocktails and creativity, who can go wrong attending tomorrow night’s Mad Science Party?

    “We plan to continue doing cool and fresh events moving forward,” Gallion said. But Saturday, her focus will be on raising as much support as she can for the children of Southern Arizona.

    Follow Daniel Burkart on Twitter.

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