Fundraiser for Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley; 20th Annual Instrumental Evening for the Earth
On Wednesday evening, October 18th, we stopped off at a fundraiser for Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley which was held at the "Ariel Pearl Center" in Old Brooklyn at the corner of Pearl and Broadview Roads. We soon learned that our friend Ms. Radhika Reddy of "Ariel Ventures", which owns the property, provided the use of the building as well as the drinks for the fundraiser which former Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitizgerald helped to organize.
We were among the first to arrive so Council President Kelley took us on a tour of the locale which was first built in 1923 and has been the home to several banks since that time including U.S. Bank that left in 2011. We thus got to explore several unusual rooms such as an old bank vault but could really see its potential as an event space which is included in Ms. Reddy's plans for it which are outlined in this "Plain Dealer" article from February, 2016: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2016/02/old_brooklyn_bank_building_a_c.html
We could only stay a short while but we got to visit with several people including a man who said that he once had a bank account here when he was a boy and another person who told us that years ago Ms. Margaret W. Wong gave good advice to a friend of his who was planning to immigrate to the United States from Europe.
As for Council President Kelley, himself, we spoke with Mr. Jeffrey Verespej, Executive Director of "Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation" who said that it would be an understatement to say that it would be an understatement to say that the council president had done some great things for this area in the course of his tenure.
We also got to meet Mr. David Margolius, a neighbor and good friend of Council President Kelley, who said that he was so happy about all of the things that he has done to help Cleveland that he was even willing to mow the council president's lawn on occasion to free up time for him to continue working.
The reason that we had to leave so soon was that we had to get over to our second event of the night which was the "20th Annual Instrumental Evening for the Earth" presented by the "Earth Day Coalition" at "smARTspace at 78th Street Studios" just a few miles from the "Ariel Pearl Center".
It proved to be a fine evening of socializing, food samplings, an eco-raffle as well as a silent auction and musical performances by "The Brad Smedley Acoustic Jazz Trio" and "The CruiseMasters."
Around 7:30pm or so, Mr. Scott Sanders, Executive Director of the "Earth Day Coalition" asked us to pause so that awards could be dispersed to these worthy organizations:
****The City of Cleveland was the recipient of the "Community Works Program Award in Clean Transportation" because the Cleveland "is leading by example in accelerating the use of cleaner transportation choices within their own operations and investing in alternative transportation options for Cleveland residents."
****MC2 STEM was the recipient of the Student Environmental Leadership Award (Hope and Standley Adelstein Award for Excellence) and it was accepted by two of its students, Miss Catherine Buxton and Mr. Maurice Philpott, Jr. Over the past year, MC2 STEM students were involved in such projects as recycling materials into places like playgrounds which builds them up and makes them better and the use of art to depict the history of green spaces in Cleveland. They also took part in planning and execution of "Earthfest 2017".
**** Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Holden Forest and Gardens were the recipients of the Earthfest Program Award because they made it possible for over 1,000 small trees to be given away to the attendees of "Earthfest 2017". Another person deserving credit for this endeavor was Mr. Gregg Mylett who, along with his wife Kristin, brought 200 small trees to the Instrumental Evening for all of the participants to take home and/or give one to a friend.
****The Cleveland Tree Coalition was the recipient of the Neighborhood Action Program Award. This organization was formed in 2015 to study the benefits the current tree canopy and coming up with a plan for expanding it. Since that time 7,500 trees have been planted with the goal of planting 50,000 by 2020.
On this occasion there were food stations scattered all over the room including those of "Daily Press" offering tangy electric juice; "The Harp" offering vegetable quinoa; "Xinji Noodle Bar" offering Korean Sweet Potato Noodles; and "Indian Delight" offering vegetable pakora.
The end result of all of this was that we ate too much but in between nibbles we still managed to re-connect with Mr. Steve Presser, the owner of "Big Fun" in Cleveland Heights who we met when he spoke before the "Heights-Hillcrest Chamber of Commerce" back in October, 2016 and to connect for the first time with Mr. Nick Eaton, a young magician who has been practicing his craft for 10 years and is quite accomplished although he is only 22 years old.
So, queasy stomach aside, we were glad that we attended and supported this event because, as Cleveland City Councilperson Matt Zone said, we are very lucky to have the "Earth Day Coalition" here in Cleveland because it moves very important issues to the forefront at city and county level.
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC