Journey to Japan for Children’s Museum gala Dec. 6

The Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge will “Journey to Japan” for its 18th annual Gala from 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The evening will celebrate Japanese life and culture, as well as Oak Ridge’s sister city friendship with Japan, while benefitting the Children’s Museum.

The Gala evening will feature musical entertainment, fine dining, and auctions at the Museum, 461 West Outer Dr., Oak Ridge. Guests are invited to dress in Japanese or cocktail attire.

Frank Murphy, voted as Knoxville’s finest emcee by readers of Blank Newspaper in 2018, will serve as the evening’s master of ceremonies. Murphy is host of Scholars’ Bowl on East Tennessee PBS and co-host of Morning in the Mountains on the Mountain Fun Life streaming channel. He’s also a member of the comedy improv troupe Einstein Simplified, which performs Tuesday nights at Knoxville’s Scruffy City Hall.

Guests will be greeted with a mural focusing on the Gala theme, created by artist Gale Hinton. Take Out Thyme Catering, a family-owned business for 20 years, will prepare and serve an elegant dinner highlighting the Gala’s “Journey to Japan” theme.

Oak Ridge and Naka, Japan, have been sister cities for 28 years, with international exchanges taking place aided by the Oak Ridge Sister City Support Organization. Artwork created by Naka elementary students hangs in the Children’s Museum west wing hallway.

Clinton auctioneer Bear Stephenson, of Stephenson Realty and Auction, will donate his time to conduct a lively and entertaining auction. Among live and silent auction items will be a rose gold key diamond pendant with chain from the Disney Enchanted Collection, donated by Karen’s Jewelers; two round-trip tickets on JetBlue; an Amazon smart oven; Memphis Music & More Package, including tickets to Graceland, Sun Studio and the National Civil Rights Museum; pottery by acclaimed Oak Ridge clay artist Bill Capshaw; and a vintage table lamp handmade by a Tellico Village artisan.

The Gala is the annual fund raiser for the Children’s Museum, supporting the museum’s mission of educating children of all ages through play and discovery. The Children’s Museum offers summer camps, classes throughout the year, after-school programs and experiences in history, the arts, science and cultures, serving children and families throughout the East Tennessee region.

Gala tickets are $125 per person, or $800 for a table of eight. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets, and call Beth Shea at CMOR at (865) 482-1074 to learn more about Gala sponsorships.