Speakeasy II, a success for UpStage Players and Slovenian Home
Speakeasy II, a fundraising night to benefit Collinwood's own UpStage Players and the Slovenian Workmen's Home, was a festive celebration of fun, food and a variety of entertainment options. The October 2nd event was packed with supporters, whose donations netted roughly $1,500 for each organization after expenses. Over 30 volunteers helped organize and promote the event.
The night featured entertainment by a New Orleans-style jazz band, various performances by members of the UpStage Players Children's Theater Group, a 50/50 raffle, a purse auction and casino gaming and music provided by local business owner John Copic.
Winnings from the casino games were dispensed in the form of chips that were exchanged for Chinese auction tickets that patrons used to try to win their prize(s) of choice. Chinese auction items, which were donated by over 30 supporters, ranged from locally handmade goods to fine art to event tickets to weekend getaways.
Many attendees dressed in 1920s vintage and gangster clothing, which fit right in with not only the evening’s theme, but also the most popular “gimmick” of the night—the “Jail-a-Friend.” This additional mini-fundraiser required patrons to donate $5 to have a friend held in a faux jail that was constructed specifically for the Speakeasy. “Prisoners” either had to wait in jail for 15 minutes, or they could be “bailed out” for a $10 donation. Many photo opportunities and laughs were generated from this.
Another highlight of the occasion was the announcement of the UpStage Players’ forthcoming Spring Musical. Artistic Director Carrie Walsh-Hilf revealed that the group will perform "Seussical: The Musical" on April 15, 16 and 17, 2011.