Like a scene straight out of a Stan Lee comic book, throngs of spirited superheroes descended upon Downtown Lakewood, sporting capes, courage and commitment to community vibrancy.
LakewoodAlive hosted Loving Lakewood: Superheroes Unite presented by Cleveland Property Management Group on Saturday night, February 24, at the Lakewood Masonic Temple, drawing a sellout crowd of 225 heroes and heroines. Proceeds from this fundraising event will support LakewoodAlive’s programming as we strive to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood.
Guests entering the Lakewood Masonic Temple’s ballroom were treated to a transformation of the historic building’s interior into a superhuman world marked by Gotham-esque cityscapes, poster-sized comic book covers, colorful uplighting and a stage backdrop depicting superhero silhouettes. A two-dimensional photo booth featuring the Cleveland skyline enabled guests to scale buildings for Spiderman-like photo opportunities.
As they enjoyed “Superman’s Cape” cocktails and tasty hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Karen King Catering, Superheroes Unite Attendees danced to superhero-inspired music spun by DJ Byron. A t-shirt press operated by OnPoint produced “Not All Heroes Wear Capes” shirts, while a magician and caricature artist provided additional entertainment options.
During the Superheroes Unite program, honorary capes were awarded to five individuals in recognition of their exemplary service to LakewoodAlive and the Lakewood community:
- Cindy Friedmann
- Alix Kaufmann
- Cindy Marx
- Mark Thomas
- Shawn Warren
The Superhuman Costume Contest saw Batmans, Captain Americas and Clark Kent lookalikes pitted against one another competing for the titles of “Most Creative Conqueror,” “Most Authentic Ace” and “Most Gallant Group.” Other guests devised less traditional yet equally impressive costumes, dressing as a “Reflector” mirror, a “Nonprofit Unicorn,” “Underdog” and “Quailman” from the 1990s TV show Doug.
Winners of the Superhuman Costume Contest were:
- Most Creative Conquerors – Rev. Mark Thomas (Reflector) and Cindy Costello (Tax Woman)
- Most Authentic Aces – Frank Scalish (The Joker) and Liz Spahr (Powerpuff Girl)
- Most Gallant Group – Jarrell & Andrea McAlister (Beast Boy & Raven)
A surprise visit from pizza-toting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – some riding into the Lakewood Masonic Temple’s ballroom on skateboards – culminated a supremely heroic evening.
LakewoodAlive thanks the many volunteers who contributed their time and talents to this fundraising event, especially the following members of the Superheroes Unite Committee for their tireless efforts: Julie Warren (chair), Michael Bentley, Connie Bielawski, Sarah Chahy, Will Costello, Jeff Davis, Kelly Florian, Jim Hayes, Madeline Hayes, Alix Kaufmann, Brittany O’Connor, Blaire Skinner, Darren Toms, Missy Toms and Shawn Warren.
“Our incredible team of volunteers, led by Julie Warren, proved instrumental in making Superheroes Unite a successful fundraising event for our organization,” said Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive. “From sponsors to volunteers to Superheroes Unite attendees, we really can’t say enough about the tremendous support we receive from our community.”
Not all heroes wear capes. At LakewoodAlive we don’t possess superhuman powers, yet we strive to serve a heroic role in the lives of Lakewood residents in need through our Housing Outreach Program. Our villain is anything that stands in the way of community vibrancy. The 5.5 square miles comprising Lakewood is our Gotham City, and we take our duties very seriously. In the immortal words of Wolverine, we aim to be “the best there is at what we do.”
“Loving Lakewood: Superheroes Unite” was generously supported by the following sponsors:
Cleveland Property Management Group
CLEAResult | Cox Communications | Eric Lowrey, Berkshire Hathaway/Lucien Realty | Erie Design
Geiger’s | Heidelberg Distributing Company | Jen Hearn Photography | Lakewood Masonic Temple
Lanter Legal | Lion and Blue | NetworkinGuys | Regency Construction Services | Ride + Workout
Rockport Wealth Advisors | Scalish Construction | Slife Heating & Cooling, Inc.
Sentry Protection Products | Wegman, Hessler & Vanderburg
Cindy & Tim Friedmann