Upper Arlington News

Annual UACA fundraiser aims to 'Raise the Roof'

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The Upper Arlington Community Foundation will host an annual fundraiser May 9 to support enrichment programs throughout the city.

Since its establishment in 2004, the nonprofit Upper Arlington Community Foundation (UACF) has raised and donated more than $1 million to local community enrichment projects and initiatives.

Those gifts have included the restoration of the Amelita Mirolo Barn at Sunny 95 Park, which was donated to the city of Upper Arlington in May 2011, as well as new playgrounds for local children and support of a variety of cultural arts endeavors.

Much of the UACF's giving power has been generated through its annual "Raise the Roof" fundraiser, which this year will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. May 9 at The Barn, 4395 Carriage Hill Lane.

"This is our annual spring signature fundraiser," said Sue Ralph, UACF executive director. "It's the source for many of our grants, and it's to help us move towards our mission."

That mission is "to enrich the traditions that have contributed to the lifestyle of our community, to receive gifts and bequests from the public and to administer them wisely as a legacy for this community," according to the UACF.

The organization's funds are managed by the Columbus Foundation, and money is distributed to projects and programs UACF board members identify as needed in Upper Arlington.

Ralph said the group wants to attract upwards of 250 people to "Raise the Roof" this year, and raise $50,000. Both marks would set UACF records.

"We're a community of givers and this is the perfect way for the community to invest in Upper Arlington," she said.

Tickets for "Raise the Roof" cost $50 per person, and can be reserved online at uacommunityfoundation.org or by calling 614-451-0700.

Tickets also will be available at the door on the night of the event, but reservations are recommended, organizers said.

The evening will include live music by jazz musician Dave Powers, hors d'oeuvres by Steven's Catering, desserts from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and wine by Van Guard Wines. There also will be live and silent auctions, items for which can be viewed at the UACF website.

"You will receive two drink tickets with each (admission) ticket," Ralph said. "It's a casual event. It's a good evening for fun and fellowship, all the while supporting Upper Arlington projects."

"Raise the Roof is a great opportunity to show our passion for Upper Arlington," said W. Gregory Guy, chairman of the UACF board of trustees.

This year's fundraiser is the third annual installment of "Raise the Roof," which was established and named to boost The Barn project. That initiative ultimately brought in more than $900,000 to restore and relocate a Thomas Legg barn originally built near the intersection of Fishinger and Reed roads around 1838.

Now, Ralph said, the UACF wants to extend its reach throughout Upper Arlington, and it's doing so by sponsoring the UA Author Series, a partnership that includes the Upper Arlington Public Library and brings best-selling authors such as Alexander McCall Smith and Lynne Olson to the city.

There also is the Marlene and Joseph Berwanger Fund at the UACF, which supports beautification projects throughout Upper Arlington, including an inaugural one for planters and landscaping upgrades at The Mallway.

"It started with The Barn," Ralph said. "It was, literally, 'Raise the Roof. Let's Build The Barn.' It's a metaphor for what we want to do in building Upper Arlington."

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