Category Archives: Benefit

Our new home’s the star at our gala this Sat., March 21

led board benefit 2 no place like

Our new home in the Gordon Square Arts District will be the “star,” and two longtime supporters who helped make it possible will be honored, in a high-energy, red-carpet, grand-opening event this Saturday, March 21. Actors, supporters and the community will gather for Near West Theatre’s Annual Benefit and Gala from 7 to 11 p.m. in our new performance space, 6702 Detroit Ave. After years of holding our big fundraising party at such locations as Trinity Cathedral, PlayhouseSquare and the old Cleveland Play House, we can now throw what a local journalist has called “one of the most authentic, genuine and satisfying benefit events of the year” in our own new home. The theme: “No Place Like Home.”

TH_Logo_rev_300dpiAdmission includes plentiful food, drink, dessert, dancing, a silent auction and the evening’s centerpiece: a passionate musical performance by a large, intergenerational Near West Theatre cast. Tickets, $100, benefit Near West Theatre’s mission of using theater as a process to build lives, relationships and community among diverse people of all ages. Tickets are available online in advance or can be purchased the door. They are also available by phone, 216-961-6391, until 4 p.m. Friday, March 20. The March 21 gala runs from 7 to 11 p.m.This event and the entire series of opening events and shows in our new theater are made possible by Presenting Sponsor Thompson Hine and the generous support of other season sponsors listed below.


Jim and Anne Schoff spok at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new theater on Nov. 27, 2012. Photos by Gregory Wilson

Anne and Jim Schoff spoke at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the new theater on Nov. 27, 2012. Photos by Gregory Wilson

Honorees. This year we honor longtime supporters Jim and Anne Schoff. “They first encountered Near West Theatre in 1995,” wrote founding Executive Director Stephanie Morrison Hrbek. “Anne says that is when ‘the love affair began.’ As steadfast supporters ever since, they have been pivotal in making the dream of our new home a reality. Besides their own leadership in giving, they brought us into their remarkable network of relationships, linking us to such generous supporters as Char and Chuck Fowler, Project Management Consultants through Thompson Hine, and the Barrington Wine Classic, to name just a few. They have even opened their home to us. When they lived at Barrington in Aurora, Ohio, they held special getaway parties so our young cast members could enjoy the swimming pool and other amenities there. They hosted special performances by Near West Theatre actors, where their own friends and neighbors were introduced to our spirit and mission. Jim and Anne have both served on our Board of Trustees (Jim as President, 2001-2006), as committee chairs, and as working chairs of our Annual Benefit – all the while, making connections with the people Near West Theatre. They always remind us that relationships with the children, teens, and adults of Near West are what has fueled their passion. They value hearing the stories of struggle and triumph of the people who come through our doors.

“Jim and Anne are one of those outstanding couples who have balanced raising three children – and now are enjoying nine grandchildren – while also being deeply involved as civic leaders. They both now serve on advisory boards at University Hospitals, and between them have served such organizations as the Cleveland Ballet, the Diversity Center, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland Social Venture Partners, Sovereign Order of St. John, the Cleveland Play House, City Year Cleveland, and The Centers for Families and Children.”

Parking and transit information. Free valet parking will be available at the corner of Detroit Avenue and West 67th Street, and free self-parking can be found around the neighborhood the neighborhood. There’s a lot going on in the neighborhood Saturday night, so if you self-park, give yourself time to find a spot. The map below shows lots and streets where you can park free (our theater is the blue square!). You can also use the parking lots at Neighborhood Family Practice, W. 65th and Franklin; or Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 6928 Detroit Ave., after its 6 p.m. Saturday Mass is over. Public transit is also a good option. RTA buses stop at W. 65th and Detroit: Route 26 twice each hour on Saturdays, and Route 45 once an hour. Hardy winter bicyclists will find bike racks on Detroit Avenue.


Sponsors. In addition to Presenting Sponsor Thompson Hine, the following season sponsors have also provided generous support. Patron Sponsor: Consolidated Solutions. Producer Sponsors: American Limousine, Char and Chuck Fowler, Majic Family Fund, PNC, and an anonymous donor. Choreographer Sponsors: First Federal Lakewood, KeyBank, Medical Mutual, Ray and Katie Murphy, and Panzica Construction Co. We are also grateful to the Actor Sponsors and other Season Sponsors who will be listed at Saturday’s gala.

 — Hans Holznagel


Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing operating support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares, and for special support from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio for equipment used by young people in technical workshops and other backstage experiences.

Party with us Sat., Feb. 15, downtown!

2014 Benefit imageIt’s been called one of Cleveland’s best parties of the year. The Annual Benefit for Near West Theatre’s art and mission is Saturday, Feb. 15, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland. Featuring a carnival theme and the title “Love Makes the World Go ‘Round,” this year’s event honors Cleveland attorney Jan Roller, a longtime Near West Theatre Trustee and supporter and a model of professional and civic involvement for the public good.

Jan Roller

Jan Roller

As always, the centerpiece will be a high-energy, 20-minute musical performance at 7 p.m. by NWT cast members of all ages. But Benefit-goers enjoy much more all evening:  buffets of hearty hors d’oeuvres and desserts, open bars with beer, wine and soft drinks, a silent auction, “key” and sideboard raffles, a photo booth, a DJ dance floor and other surprises — all under the gothic stone arches of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, which is transformed into a grand party venue for the evening.

Tickets are $85 ($50 tax deductible) or 10 for $800 ($450 tax deductible). Buy them at the door starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, or in advance through Thursday, Feb. 13, online or by phone, 216-961-6391. Trinity Cathedral is at 2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. Use the Trinity Commons entrance on Prospect Avenue just east of East 22nd Street.

The lead sponsor of the event is the Majic Family Foundation. Other major sponsors include American Limousine Service, Euro USA, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Pogue, RPM International, Char and Chuck Fowler, Rita and Charles Maimbourg, Mansour, Gavin, Gerlack & Manos L.P.P., Panzica Construction Co., PNC, and Tucker Ellis LLP.

Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing program support from the Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.

Images of “Street Beat” from Near West Theatre!

Enjoy a few photos from this year’s benefit for Near West Theatre, “Street Beat”!

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Cool Cleveland Benefit Review

Photo Credit: John Stuehr

The staff at Near West Theatre is still recovering from the whirlwind that was the 2011 Benefit.  The event was a huge success and we are so excited to share photos and stories with all of you.  But, until then, check out the amazing review in this week’s Cool Cleveland!

Benefit Week 2011

Benefit week is in full swing here at Near West Theatre!  The cast is in rehearsal, the tech staff is building, and the office staff is struggling to stay afloat (kidding— we are rocking this thing!).  I took a few minutes to take some pictures of the AMAZING offerings we have for the auction this year.  Check it out…

Healthy Living Package

Healthy Living Package- The fabulous Kim Flaherty, volunteer extraordinaire, helped us put together this package… Zumba class for 20 (including margaritas!) at AOK! Fitness in Strongsville, $100 gift certificate to The Raw Trainer and an Essential Oils gift set.  Um, yes please!!

The Fashionista Package

The Fashionista Package– This one goes out to all the ladies in the house!  HANDMADE Cloche hat from Busy Broad in Lakewood, Avery silver & Pearl necklace from Stella & Dot, Cleansing Facial from Mint Salon in Rocky River and some fabulous Aveda products from J. Romer Salon!

The Ohio City Ovation Package

The Ohio City Ovation Package-  We LOVE our home in the heart of Ohio City.  For that reason, we decked this package out in the finest our fabulous neighborhood has to offer.  $50 gift certificate to the Flying Fig, 5 yoga classes at No Place Like Om Yoga Studio, a free torte at Farkus Bakery, Family pass to SPACES, a night for 2  at Stone Gables Bed and Breakfast, and last but not least- 5 ticket vouchers for Near West Theatre!!

This is far from all of it! We have 24 packages that include amazing activities and delicious restaurants from all over our fair city- a behind the scenes tour at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, consultation with Laura Gills- An Interior Design Co, a week at the Chautaqua Institution and MORE!
BUT THE AUCTION ISN’T ALL!  Our ‘key to the city’ raffle offers guests the opportunity (for just $20 a key or 4 for $60) to try their luck at picking the key that will open our chest containing some of the best of Cleveland.  The raffle is valued at over $2,000 and contains so many amazing items that I can’t name them all here.  Look below to see the list and be sure to bring your wallets! 
 We hope to see you at the event.  It promises to be a MAGICAL night!