Catherine Scallen, Bob Rawson, Jim and Susan Ratner, Judy Rawson and Robert Brown

Leta Obertacz, Robert Klann, Lillian Kuri and Janelle Hinkle

The theme for this year’s Summer Soiree event to benefit Dunham Tavern Museum and Gardens, “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” celebrated the many changes happening around the almost 200-year-old landmark.
More than 250 guests attended the fundraiser, which included live musical entertainment throughout the evening, a silent auction and a buffet-style dinner served in a dining tent surrounded by the beautiful gardens. The evening’s honoree was Lillian Kuri, CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. Kuri was lauded with testimonials from Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne, James Ratner, chairman of Forest City Realty Trust, and Robyn Minter Smyers of Thompson Hine.
James Edmonson, president of Dunham Tavern Museum and Gardens, noted that the first steps in the landmark’s master plan have begun. The

Brenda Ellner and Mary Bole, with Janaki and Vijay Vijayaraghavan

fencing and barriers around the grounds have been removed and the preparation of an event lawn extending north to Chester Ave. has started. This will be followed by the laying out of a Heritage Trail encircling the grounds and plotting of themed gardens along the route of the trail. All of these moves are designed to help share greenspace as an amenity for the MidTown community and all of greater Cleveland.
“We’re not abandoning our history, however. In fact, in 2024 we will be celebrating Dunham’s bicentennial, our 200th year as a Cleveland landmark, with events and programs throughout the coming year,” Edmonson noted. The 2023 Summer Soiree raised $75,000 to sustain Dunham Tavern Museum’s operations and programming. STORY BY CYNTHIA SCHUSTER EAKIN/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERIC EAKIN