06/08/2012 12:11 pm ET

Boulder Space Science Group Hosting 'Planetary Shoe Shine' To Call Attention To NASA Budget Cuts

When little Suzie's orchestra needs extra funds, they hold a bake sale. Same goes for Jimmy's Boy Scout troop, except they substitute popcorn for cookies.

And if you're the Southwest Research Institute's Space Science and Engineering Division (SwRI) in Boulder, Colo., and you're a little low on dough, apparently you shine shoes.

SwRI will host a "Planetary Shoe Shine" Saturday, June 9 in Boulder from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 1421 Spruce Street. Researchers across the country are hosting events of similar stature Saturday to call attention to drastic budget cuts to NASA's planetary space program.

"I was looking for something that was different from what we normally do; I wanted it to be fun but attention-getting," said Boulder SwRI Associate Vice President Alan Stern to the Daily Camera. "The idea of all these Ph.D.s in all these locations around the country, and graduate students, out there doing things for the public just to get the message out, it gives the right impression."

The group ultimately hopes the event will draw media and political attention to budget cuts set to take place in October. NASA's 2013 planetary exploration budget is $309 million less than the 2012 budget, a cut of 20%.