Foundation to showcase its role in projects improving access to the river and lakefront with 6,000 free tickets on the Goodtime III.
The Cleveland Foundation today announced its September centennial gift to the community - Cleveland Foundation Weekends on the Water - which will showcase the long-term support the foundation has provided for projects that have improved access to, or helped development of, the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. The gift will make available 6,000 free tickets to hour-long cruises on Saturday, Sept. 13 and Sunday, Sept. 28.
This latest monthly gift comes on the heels of the foundation's August announcement of a $5 million centennial legacy grant for the Lake Link Trail connecting Cleveland's neighborhoods to the lakefront and riverfront.
For the Cleveland Foundation Weekends on the Water, the foundation is joining forces with several partners to make the event a unique learning tour for families. A special cruise narration will highlight some of the recent exciting development along the river and lakefront. Also, representatives from the foundation's September gift partners - Cleveland Metroparks, the city of Cleveland's Office of Sustainability, The Nature Conservancy and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District - will be on board during the cruises to answer questions and to provide educational materials on topics such as local water quality and conservation efforts.
�We are pleased that our September centennial gift to the community focuses on two of our region's greatest natural assets: Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River,� said Robert E. Eckardt, Executive Vice President of the Cleveland Foundation. �Throughout its 100 years, the foundation has been committed to enhancing public access to the river and lake and to improving water quality. This gift will showcase all the exciting energy and improvements on the waterfront.�
Tickets are required for the cruises. On both Sept. 13 and Sept. 28, there will be four separate hour-long cruises on the Goodtime III, which will depart at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The public will be able to reserve up to four free tickets per household starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 5 by visiting www.clevelandfoundation.org/WaterWeekends or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.
In addition to its $5 million grant for the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail, the Cleveland Foundation has provided another $4.4 million in grant funding over the past four decades for projects supporting lake and river development. These projects include the creation of North Coast Harbor where the Goodtime III docks, the transition of the lakefront parks to Cleveland Metroparks, preservation of the historic Coast Guard Station at Wendy Park, offshore wind development and initiatives promoting water quality.
�The Park District is thrilled to be part of the foundation's centennial celebration for a second time, following April's record-breaking Cleveland Foundation Day at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo,� said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman. �The foundation's support has been instrumental in helping the Park District achieve its goals of connecting Greater Clevelanders to the lakefront and the river, and we are more than pleased to help spotlight these connections during Cleveland Foundation Weekends on the Water.�
�The Cleveland Foundation has been a major supporter of the city's many sustainability initiatives, and we are pleased to join the foundation as one of its September centennial gift partners,� said Jenita McGowan, Chief of Sustainability for the city of Cleveland. �Being able to experience Cleveland on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River will make our freshwater assets more real and accessible for our residents.�
As families wait to board the cruises, fun, interactive activities will be provided by this month's gift partners. Cleveland Metroparks plans to bring a few animals native to the waterfront from its learning center. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District's mascot, Wally Waterdrop, will also be on hand to greet guests.
�The Cleveland Foundation is itself a gift to our entire region,� said Constance Haqq, Director of Administration and External Affairs for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. �The Sewer District is pleased to partner with the foundation in this gift to the community, and is proud to be identified as an integral component in keeping our Great Lake great.�
�We are truly honored to be part of the centennial celebration of the Cleveland Foundation and its focus on Lake Erie,� said Josh Knights, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in Ohio. �The foundation and its donors have been longtime supporters of The Nature Conservancy, especially our work to protect and restore wetlands and streams that contribute to a healthy lake. We are thrilled to help spread the word about this irreplaceable natural asset and thank the Cleveland Foundation for its wonderful gift to the community.�
The Cleveland Foundation's monthly centennial gifts this year highlight organizations and community assets the foundation has played a role in establishing or enhancing throughout its 100-year history.
Susan Christopher - 216-650-2997
The Cleveland Foundation
Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world's first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 billion and 2013 grants of $89 million. For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, visit www.ClevelandFoundation.org/purpose and follow us at facebook.com/ClevelandFoundation or @CleveFoundation on Twitter.