Local/State

Franklin Institute receives $10 million donation

Monday, October 03, 2011

On the Race Street side of the Franklin Institute, there isn't much to see, but that will soon change thanks to a $10 million donation announced Monday.

Nicholas and Athena Karabots are donating millions to the Franklin Institute in the largest individual donation the museum has ever received.

The money will be used to build the Karabots Pavillion, a three-story addition that will give the museum more space to hold educational programs and to bring in larger changing exhibits, along with a permanent exhibit on the human brain.

"We've been fundraising for the last several years and when the Karabots' learned about our program they were particularly impressed with the work we do with underserved children. That's one of the reasons why they came in to support," said the museum's president and CEO Dr. Dennis Wint.

Nicholas Karabots grew up in a tough neighborhood in the Bronx. The Karabots Foundation's mission is to provide positive programming to people, especially children in violence-prone neighborhoods.

The Franklin Institute's many educational programs meshed perfectly with that goal, prompting the generous gift.

"The experience that we found here in one visit many years ago, was finding an astronomer with four inner city kids all anxious to learn," said Nicholas Karabots.

"The programs they have for the youngsters are just amazing so we're truly looking forward to it coming to fruition," said Athena Karabots.

Construction is set to get under way in Spring 2012, with the pavilion set to open about two years later.

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franklin institute, local/state, amy buckman
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