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There’s simply no place like home, especially when the place you call home is Lakewood, Ohio.

LakewoodAlive hosted Loving Lakewood: There’s No Place Like Home presented by Cleveland Property Management Group on Saturday night, February 23, at the Lakewood Masonic Temple, drawing a sellout crowd of 235 Oz-enthused guests to celebrate 15 years of community vibrancy in grand fashion.  Proceeds from this 15th anniversary 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 collection of “not in Kansas anymore” scenes from the Wizard of Oz.  A Yellow Brick Road greeted attendees and led them to the stage, which displayed a larger-than-life Wizard with an emerald green face flanked by fiery flames.  Both ends of the ballroom depicted fighting apple trees, while the west-end featured a spinning tornado and a photo booth beckoning guests to sit on a broomstick while the backdrop proclaimed “Surrender Lakewood” atop an aerial view of the Solstice Steps.

Loving Lakewood: There's No Place Like Home
Volunteer Rob Donaldson was one of three Outstanding Volunteer Award honorees.  (Judie Vegh/ OyVegh Photography)

As they enjoyed a variety of Oz-inspired cocktails and cuisine courtesy of Karen King Catering, There’s No Place Like Home guests grooved to music spun by DJ Byron.  They were greeted by a surprise visit from the cast of characters from the classic 1939 film, including Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, Glinda and the Flying Monkey.

During the program emceed by local favorite media personality Mark “Munch” Bishop, Outstanding Volunteer Awards were bestowed to three extremely worthy recipients (Aaron Cooper, Rob Donaldson and Missy Toms) who have graciously given their time and talents to LakewoodAlive.  Founders Awards were bestowed to four honorees (Jenni Baker, Mary Anne Crampton, Jay Foran and Mikelann Rensel) in recognition of their exceptional contributions to Lakewood’s community vibrancy.

The Great and Power Gem Game saw one lucky winner receive a .58-carat ruby gemstone with a retail value of $1,450, as well as a $250 credit towards a setting for the ruby at Lion and Blue.  Additional winners emerged from participating in the sideboard contest, raffles baskets and a live auction.

Loving Lakewood: There's No Place Like Home
Ruby slippers were plentiful at There’s No Place Like Home.  (Judie Vegh/OyVegh Photography)

LakewoodAlive thanks the many volunteers who contributed to this fundraising event, especially the following members of the There’s No Place Like Home Committee for their tireless efforts: Julie Warren (chair), Michael Bentley, Mary Bond, Kelly Florian, Jarrell McAlister, Brittany O’Connor, Blaire Skinner, Darren Toms, Missy Toms and Shawn Warren.

“Our incredible team of volunteers, led by Julie Warren, were instrumental in making There’s No Place Like Home a successful fundraising event for our organization,” said Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing & Internal Operations Director.  “From sponsors to volunteers to attendees, we really can’t say enough about the tremendous support we receive from our community.”

About LakewoodAlive 

There’s no place like home.  At LakewoodAlive we don’t have magical ruby slippers, yet we strive to serve a vital role in the lives of Lakewood residents in need through our Housing Outreach Program.  Our journey follows a yellow brick road on the path to community vibrancy.  The 5.5 square miles comprising Lakewood is our Kansas, and we take our responsibilities very seriously.  As the immortal lyrics from Over the Rainbow state, “Dreams really do come true.”

Loving Lakewood: There’s No Place Like Home is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Over the Rainbow Title Sponsor
Cleveland Property Management Group

Emerald City Sponsor
First Federal Lakewood

Ruby Slipper Sponsors
Citizens Bank
Third Federal Savings & Loan

Yellow Brick Road Sponsors
Cox Communications | Dominion Energy | Erie Design
Geiger’s | Lakewood Masonic Temple | Lanter Legal, LLC
Lion and Blue | The New Moon | Regency Construction Services
Rockport Wealth Advisors | Scalish Construction
Sentry Protection Products | Wegman, Hessler & Vanderburg
Western Reserve Distillers | Yourkvitch & Dibo, LLC

Loving Lakewood: There's No Place Like Home
Loving Lakewood: There's No Place Like Home
Loving Lakewood: There's No Place Like Home