Attendees of the 2020 Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Discovery Awards at Discovery Park of America on March 7, 2020 are in for a fun-filled night as they pay tribute to the inaugural event’s honorees and support the mission of Discovery Park to inspire children and adults to see beyond. Proceeds raised from the silent auction will benefit the Kirkland Scholarship that provides free admission for students from all K-12 schools where 75 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch.

After checking in and taking a selfie on the red carpet with the Discovery Park cave bear—who will be decked out for the occasion—guests will receive a complimentary glass of champagne provided by Recreational Concepts of Cookeville, Tenn. with background music provided by Charles Lewis on the flute and Dr. Chan Mi Jean on the keyboard.

Guests will then make their way to the museum’s military gallery where popular West Tennessee duo Steve Short and Keith Brown will be providing live entertainment as guests mix, mingle and bid on some unique and one-of-a-kind experiences and rare items in the silent auction sponsored by Eller Enterprises of Mount Juliet, Tenn., Whitehorn Tankersley & Davis CPA of Memphis and Hub City Blueprint of Jackson.

As they bid, guests will want to be sure to purchase the evening’s signature cocktail sponsored by Solid Light of Louisville, Ky.

The entertaining award ceremony, hosted by entertainer Bill Minihan who owns and operates Badgett Playhouse in Grand Rivers, Ky., will include an impressive and delicious formal dinner prepared and served by Sodexo of Martin.

During the salad course, music will be provided by The Jackson Symphony featuring violinists, Grace Shaw and Elise Dougan and celloist Daniel Strawser. They will present music from the Classical & Romantic eras. Included will be works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Robert Schumann and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Once the presentation of the Discovery Awards to the 2020 honorees Kevin Coby; Carl and Alice Kirkland; Jon and Jaimie Robinson; and Stephen Vaden has ended, the evening will still be in full swing as one of the country’s premier auctioneers, Jay Cash, takes the stage. The live auction portion of the evening, sponsored by Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical of Jackson, will feature some items that you simply will not be able to find anywhere else in the world. And even if guests don’t win an item, they may win one of the games during the event that are sponsored by Cowart Reese Sargent, CPAs of Jackson and Lanzer Printing and Office Supplies of Union City.

One of the most popular live auction items is sure to be an autographed football from the Titans that includes two tickets to a pre-season game and the opportunity to join the Titans on the field.

Money raised during the silent auction will benefit the Kirkland Scholarship, and all other proceeds raised from this exciting event will support every aspect of the museum and park—from regular maintenance and day-to-day operations to allowing educators to creating new interactive exhibits and develop programs and classes. Gifts further STEAM and history education and help deliver a transformational experience to visitors of all ages. Contributions will go to work immediately and are essential to implementing Discovery Park’s mission to inspire children and adults to see beyond.

The Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Discovery Awards Gala and Fundraiser will be held on Sat., March 7, 2020 with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. and an awards dinner at 7 p.m.
For more information or to purchase sponsorships, tickets and tables, click here.