To the Moon and Beyond 2018 Luncheon to restore Historic Mission Control logo

Apollo Flight Director, Gene Kranz, was honored at the 2018 To the Moon and Beyond luncheon.

Flight director Gene Kranz at his console in Historic Mission Control on the morning of the launch of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission April 16, 1972.
Space Center Houston’s fall luncheon: To the Moon and Beyond

Oct. 23, 2018
Marriott Marquis Houston

Susie and Pat Cunningham
Gwen Griffin and Al Saylor

Space Center Houston hosted its second biennial fall luncheon To the Moon and Beyond on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston. Co-chaired by Susie and Pat Cunningham and Gwen Griffin and Al Saylor, more than 400 attendees came together to help raise a total of $307,000.

The nonprofit paid special tribute to legendary Apollo flight director Gene Kranz at the event, highlighting his extraordinary contributions to human space exploration and his steadfast leadership in the Historic Mission Control restoration project at NASA Johnson Space Center. Space Center Houston allocated its proceeds from table sponsorships and individual tickets to support the nonprofit’s $5 million campaign, On a Mission, and the restoration of this National Historic Landmark.

City of Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner joined the celebration to honor Kranz by declaring Oct. 23, 2018, as “Gene Kranz Day” in Houston. Kranz followed the proclamation with 12 minutes of remarks that earned him a standing ovation from the crowd, which included former Apollo-era astronauts William “Bill” Anders, Charles “Charlie” Duke and Walter “Walt” Cunningham and Apollo-era flight directors Milton Windler and Gerry Griffin.

The luncheon concluded with a live appeal led by veteran news anchor Dave Ward. Ward urged attendees to wave their paddles in the air in support of Space Center Houston’s newly established Gene Kranz Scholarship Fund providing us the resources to offer underrepresented Houston-area students with opportunities to participate in Space Center University®, a five-day hands-on engineering design program open to students from middle school through college and adults. In Space Center U®, students launch rockets, build robots and develop critical-thinking skills to solve real-world problems inherent in space exploration.

Through the appeal, Space Center Houston raised $52,000 to support the Gene Kranz Scholarship Fund.

You can still make an online contribution to support the On a Mission campaign by visiting or you can mail your contribution to Space Center Houston, Attn: Development, 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058. For questions about On a Mission or to make a gift via phone, contact Mallory Rogers at or +1 281.283.7710.

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