In search of a venue for its Glitz 2015 event, the Lake Health Foundation started from scratch. Much conversation was held between the foundation’s staff, special events committee (SEC), and board members. Questions were raised — could they go back to Classic Park for the second consecutive year? If so, how would they make it different? Special events coordinator Tracy Dennis contacted Rob Demko of the Lake County Captains to determine whether they wanted to host the event again. After a bit of surprise on their end, the Captains were excited to once again host the largest gala in Lake County. A date was set based on the schedule of the minor league baseball team and planning started. Next, they needed a theme. Many ideas came to the table but the one that jumped out was “Field of Dreams.” “We felt that we could do a lot with this theme, incorporating old-time baseball and a simpler time into the quick-pace of today,” Dennis said. “With the appropriate approval, we decided to change the dress code from our standard black-tie optional to a more theme-related attire: garden party or vintage baseball. This brought about a great deal of debate at the SEC meetings where some individuals wanted to keep it black-tie optional while others were excited for the change. Regardless, we were determined to make this event a night like no other.”
A determination was made to make the stadium feel like attendees were truly going to a baseball game. This would be accomplished by allowing the guests to play ball in the outfield. Dennis began reaching out to vintage baseball teams in northeast Ohio to find out if any of them would be willing to attend the event to interact with the guests. “This proved to be a very long and arduous process,” Dennis said. “Over 50 emails went back and forth along with several phone calls before a team was committed. The team, it was determined, would play catch and hit some balls with guests in the outfield prior to and following the dinner portion of the evening. This turned out to be one of the highlights of the night, as well as being a great photo opportunity.” In addition to the vintage team, the SEC hired a barbershop quartet that strolled throughout the concourse singing oldies. “It started as two separate quartets in different locations. They then joined together to create a wonderful sounding barbershop octet,” Dennis said. Frequent meetings were held with the Captains to discuss lighting, food delivery, decorations, linens, and more. “The Captains were very easy to work with and wanted our event to be a success as much as we did. They paid close attention to every detail and offered ideas while letting us make the final decisions,” Dennis said. The event raised record revenues of $358,000 with nearly 700 guests in attendance.
Runners-up: American Heart and Stroke Ball (American Heart Association) June 20, Metropolitan at the 9; Bag Lady Luncheon (College Now Greater Cleveland) Oct. 1, Convention Center; Jump Back Ball (Playhouse Square Partners) Feb. 28, State Theatre; Metamorphosis (Cleveland Museum of Natural History) Oct. 10, Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
2015 — Glitz 2015: Field of Dreams, Lake Health Foundation
2014 — Pandemonium: Take Flight, Cleveland Public Theatre
2013 — Pandemonium: Shine, Cleveland Public Theatre
2012 — HeartThrob Ball, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital