Promote Science and Be a Star!

Each year, the Carr-Fles Planetarium at Muskegon Community College unveils the wonders of our galaxy to over 5,000 visitors, half of them wide-eyed elementary students eager to understand the planets and stars. In addition to being enjoyed by young students and community members of all ages, the planetarium is an important learning tool for MCC students.

“Our beloved planetarium has been serving the community well for nearly 40 years, but it’s beginning to show its age and the facility is in dire need of renovation,” explained MCC President Dale K. Nesbary.  “Spare parts for its aging equipment are no longer available, while technological advances are rendering some of the shows obsolete. We want to make sure this valuable community resource remains available, so last year our Foundation launched the ‘Reach for the Stars’ campaign.”

The popular educational and entertainment destination, which opened its doors in 1972, will undergo a major facelift. Improvements include a state-of-the-art digital projection system, an expansive library of the latest shows, a new sky dome, and a remodeled theater environment. With nearly $225,000 already raised, the Reach for the Stars campaign to transform the Carr-Fles Planetarium needs an additional $170,000 by its March 31 deadline to complete the renovations in time for the Fall 2012 semester.

“We have had more than 130 generous donors step forward and support this community treasure,” said Tina Dee, Director of Community Relations/Foundation Director. “But we still have a ways to go if we are to achieve our goal. Each year, some 5,000 visitors come to Carr-Fles Planetarium. More than half are elementary students. There’s an excitement every time a group visits. Whether young or old, there’s something awe-inspiring whenever we gaze out toward the stars and come away with a greater knowledge about what lies beyond.

“Now is a great time to be play a starring role in our Reach for the Stars campaign—2011 is the last year to take advantage of the Public Contribution Credit through the State of Michigan and enjoy a 50% credit on your contribution.”

Those wishing to support this project, or other areas of MCC’s mission, can make an online donation at