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Richard and Lois Gunther are the kind of proactive supporters that no major institution can do without. And in fact, FOTO didn't find them; they found FOTO.

 

"My involvement began with the remodeling," Los Angeles business executive Richard Gunther says. "When I read they were going to renovate, I approached them about adding my financial support."

 

Like so many other Observatory fans, Gunther became an astronomy buff at a very young age. A visit at 12 to the Mt. Wilson Observatory in Pasadena planted the seeds for his association with FOTO.

 

"I was absolutely dazzled and that began my interest in astronomy and science," he says.

 

"I told FOTO if they planned elements that had the potential to inspire 12-year-olds, my wife and I would be major donors to the renovation."

 

The result is the new Richard and Lois Gunther Depths of Space gallery, designed to immerse the visitor in the amazing transformations of human perspective of the universe.

 

"We spent a fabulous two years with FOTO on the [planning] committee, participating in the actual design process and what has resulted will fulfill all our hopes. It will be very dramatic."

 

Gunther believes Griffith Observatory holds a unique place among the premier astronomical institutions.

 

"The Rose Planetarium in New York has a real focus on hard science. Chicago's [Adler] planetarium focuses on the history of astronomy.

 

"This, the renovated Griffith Observatory, will be a thorough overview of the world of astronomy. The quality of exhibits and the programs planned will generate a lot of excitement."

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