The Grande Dame of the Cleveland skyline, the Terminal Tower, was dressed in red and white on March 2. Her frock was pointed out via social media to patrons driving to the Hilton Cleveland Downtown for the 27th annual Night for the Red and White, a benefit for Shaker Schools Foundation. Billed as a “black-tie block party,” the event is a heady combination of student showcase, neighborhood gathering, class reunion, and ultimately a comprehensive celebration of all things Shaker Heights.
Six-hundred guests arrived in formal attire to take in stunning student exhibitions from grade-school artists to an exquisite student string quartet, and the Raider Robot brought to life by future engineers. Attendees had a lot of options. The self-serve buffet of beef, fish and chicken with salads and sides was ready to go. Others grabbed a cocktail and took in the 150 silent auction items, many of which were Shaker-centric such as target practice with the Shaker PD or a chance to be ‘interim principal’ at Onaway Elementary School for a day.
At 8:30 p.m. sharp the high school jazz ensemble made a stunning entrance, New Orleans style, into the filled ballroom to get everyone’s attention for a brief presentation and video about the strides Shaker students are making. The Class of 1950-51 received a special shout-out as these tireless supporters have raised nearly $300,000 for scholarships and programs. Harnessing the power of technology via cell phones, guests were asked to donate to a designated fund and watched in real time as the donations climbed to $10,000 in two minutes. Dancing and desserts followed.
The Shaker Schools Foundation was the first in Ohio to support a public school system when it launched in 1981. Since then it has raised over $6,000,000 to support what tax dollars cannot. Last year alone over 5,000 students were impacted with opportunities for learning from the arts to athletics to the sciences. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RITA KUEBER