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Dino Works to Benefit Wonder Works


April 18, 2002 - Just when you thought it was safe to stroll through the suburbs! Dinosaurs will invade RiverForest on Sunday, May 19. Come meet paleontologist and SuperCroc discoverer Paul Sereno, Ph.D., at Concordia University, 7400 Augusta St., River Forest, during "Dino Works," a family-focused, benefit event for Wonder Works, a children's museum in Oak Park.

Sereno, a paleontologist and professor at the University of Chicago, will talk about his team's discovery of the most complete fossil skull of the monstrous, 40-foot long, 110-million-year-old crocodile. SuperCroc's 6-foot-long jaws and more than 130 teeth would have made the gigantic reptile hungry for just about anything, including dinosaurs!

At "Dino Works" children can "dig" for fossils, touch real dinosaur bones, pet "Bubba" a living 8-foot North American alligator and other reptiles, measure themselves up to SuperCroc, create hadrosaur hats, design and name their own dinosaurs and participate in fun dino games. The event is 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Geiseman Gymnasium.

Sereno, a Naperville native, is world renowned for his fieldwork, which is dedicated to dinosaur fossil research. He received the Chicago Tribune's Teacher of the Year Award in 1993 and has been honored by Newsweek, Chicago, People and Esquire magazines. He is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society.

His academic credits include Columbia University's University Medal for Excellence in 1999 and the Boston Museum of Science's Walker Prize for extraordinary contributions in paleontology in 1997.

"Wonder Works is pleased to work with Concordia to bring Paul Sereno to the community and to create an exceptional family event," said Ann Goldman, Wonder Works board member. "This event complements Concordia's upcoming opening of The Walter and Maxine Christopher Center for Learning and Leadership as local residents gain access to the wonderful world of children's education. Wonder Works and Concordia University are anticipating a mutually beneficial relationship as a result of this inaugural community event."

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Free parking is available in the parking structure on Bonnie Brae Street, just west of Harlem and Division. Both facilities are wheelchair accessible. Call (708) 383-5730 for more information.

Proceeds from the event will go to Wonder Works, a children's museum in Oak Park, which will open this fall at 6445 W. North Ave. The 6,500-square-foot museum will feature fun and educational exhibits for kids up to age 10.

The Museum of Science and Industry hosts a 9,000-square-foot exhibit, "The Science of SuperCroc" until May 27. More information is online at www.supercroc.org, www.msichicago.org (click on supercroc) or at www.projectexploration.org.

Concordia University, River Forest, is located in River Forest, Ill., and is a distinctive, comprehensive University of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and based on liberal arts. Concordia University equips men and women to serve and lead with integrity, creativity, competence and compassion in a diverse, interconnected and increasingly urbanized church and world. Visit us online a www.curf.edu.

Contact: John Harris at 312.345.0650.