Dear SkyCenter Supporter-
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter’s suspension of our public stargazing programs in mid-March, we have heard from many of you with messages of support and they are greatly appreciated. We wanted to provide an update as to our activities, as well as provide information on continuing to support our education and outreach programming.
As you may suspect, we are working hard to survive what has been a very challenging year. In addition to the pandemic, the Catalina Mountains experienced a month-long wildfire, the Bighorn Fire. Thanks to the heroic efforts of hundreds of wildland firefighters and our own observatory staff, all our structures survived the fire and we are looking forward to building up our programs once again.
We have applied for and received a few small grants and gifts to support the development and delivery of virtual curriculum to local schools, and we are also exploring the technology and resources to provide “virtual views” through our telescopes.
The landscape of the pandemic is changing rapidly, and we are actively working with the University of Arizona to develop plans to open for limited in-person programs in mid-late September when we hope the pandemic has eased its grip on Arizona, and we can implement measures to provide for the safety of our staff and visitors to the greatest extent possible. We are also planning a re-opening of our Science Store and Gift Shop at 8892 E. Tanque Verde Rd. along the same timeline. Please watch our website and social media for further information.
Currently, our science store and gift shop is open for curbside pick-up. All merchandise orders must be paid for in advance. Please call 520-626-8792 for further information. In addition to branded apparel, puzzles, astrophotography, and other unique gifts, we also sell gift certificates to our programs. Gift certificates are a great way to support us and are valid for two years towards attendance at our stargazing programs.
While we are working hard to identify additional grants and other sources of philanthropy that can pay our staff in a time where we have no revenue, it cannot be overstated that we are in critical need of additional philanthropic support.
You can make a tax-deductible contribution to our program by visiting either MAKE A GIFT - MLSC - DEVELOPMENT or SkyCenter Donation Page. Following your donation, you will receive a thank you letter from the University of Arizona documenting your tax-deductible contribution. This type of support is invaluable and directly supports our outreach and K-12 educational programs.
We genuinely appreciate your support and hope that you will visit us when this outbreak passes. Again, thank you for your interest in our outreach and educational programs, and feel free to contact us with any questions.
The SkyCenter Team