Valentine Theatre and Levis Commons host fundraisersWritten by Christine Senack | | email@example.com
The Valentine Theatre recently hosted its black tie gala celebration, “From Broadway to Hollywood,” starring Marvin Hamlisch. Hamlisch, who has won Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards in addition to receiving a Pulitzer Prize, entertained patrons from the theatre’s stage before dinner. Earlier in the day music students throughout the area attended his master class on the auditioning process. Hamlisch also surprised the gala organizers by donating a custom composed song. The composer will write a song based on a theme chosen by the winning bidder. Another surprise auction item was a package of tickets to the Tony Awards as well as some of the exclusive associated events.
Beyond meeting their objective of making the evening an enjoyable time for attendees, the gala also was a financial success. This happened because the event committee adopted a budget that was in line with the current economic climate instead of simply repeating what was done in previous years, said Clare Gorski gala chairperson. The revamped budget included a reduced ticket price to encourage individual patrons to attend. In 2008 the ticket price was $250 and it was lowered to $175 this year. The strategy worked because individual ticket sales exceeded estimations.
The other fundraising strategy that assured financial success was corporate underwriting. Theatre board members worked hard to find new sponsors to compensate for lost business sponsors that were not able to make a donation this year. The board’s efforts led to a new underwriter, Lincoln Mercury, which joined National City Bank, now a part of PNC, in the role of presenting the evening’s festivities.
With the support of individuals and businesses, proceeds are estimated to come in around $90,000.
“This is the prime fundraiser for the Valentine’s operating budget,” said Gorski. “The Valentine is such a jewel in our community. We thank everyone who came and supported the event whether they were a sponsor or an individual patron.”
The Town Center at Levis Commons closed the main street to host “Vines and Vices,” a wine tasting event to benefit the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio. Nine restaurants in the shopping center participated providing the attendees with appetizers to pair with their wine. At the booth for JB’s Sarnie Shoppe, a beer tasting was offered for those who were not wine lovers. Other participating restaurants included Blue Pacific, Bar Louie, Biaggi’s, Maggie Moo’s, Poco Piatti, Tea Tree, Max & Erma’s and Andrew Z’s Sportz Pizzeria.
Melissa Kimball, Make-a-Wish event coordinator, estimates that the event will raise $14,500. The goal of the event is to raise the funds necessary to grant three wishes. Wishes usually have a budget of $5,000.
Kimball appreciates Levis Commons willingness to host the event.
“They provide us with a great opportunity to work with several local restaurants,” said Kimball. “It is a great venue, a festive atmosphere and a great opportunity to bring new faces to an event. We are appreciative that Levis Commons provides Make-a-Wish with that opportunity.”
Christine Senack is a Toledo-based consultant connecting people, places and things for the greater good of our community. For more event photos and video highlights, connect with her on Facebook.com.