8.26.17 – United Way of Greater Lorain County is inviting the public to an open house showcasing the new United Way Center for Community Transformation located at 642 Broadway Ave in downtown Lorain. The event will take place Thursday, Sept. 7 with an official ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. and the open house to follow from 3 to 7 p.m.
The open house coincides with United Way of Greater Lorain County’s Centennial Celebration. United Way traces its history in Lorain County back 100 years to the founding of the Elyria War Chest by Edgar “Daddy” Allen in 1917. The War Chest quickly became the Community Chest, and in 1967 the organization combined with six other charities to form what is now known as United Way of Greater Lorain County.
“Our new office builds on our founder’s vision by making us more accessible and visible, by saving us money and making us more stable, and by giving us an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of Broadway Avenue,” said United Way of Greater Lorain County executive director Bill Harper. “We have a lot of pride in the new office and we can’t wait to show it off so everybody can see how they can utilize the public spaces.”
All are invited to the free event that will feature light refreshments and tours of the office. United Way is especially seeking people with past connections to the agency to attend the event, including board members, campaign representatives, donors and volunteers.
“We’re making a special appeal to those who have been involved with United Way in the past or those who remember their parents or grandparents being involved, because none of our work over the past 100 years would have been possible without the tremendous support we have received from our community,” said Harper. “The celebration isn’t just about our new office and looking ahead at what we can now accomplish, it’s about paying tribute to all those who have paved the way as part of our legacy.”
Public spaces in the building front Broadway Ave along the storefront windows and include a Community Engagement Space that will be used for board meetings, trainings, community meetings and free fitness classes. The room features a large garage door that can open to connect the space to the lobby, creating a large event space. Additional public spaces include the Collaboration Studio for smaller groups to host meetings and the Volunteer Connection Hub that hosts volunteer projects and houses supplies.
642 Broadway is the site of the old Tivoli Theater, which operated from 1920 to 1930 as the Pantheon Theater before its name change. The theater closed in 1977 and was vacant until 1987 when it was demolished. The current building was constructed on the site in 2000.
Those interested in learning more details about the open house or assisting United Way with the move through capital donations can contact United Way at uwloraincounty.org/openhouse or by calling at 440-277-6530.