Ruth Eckerd Hall has announced a $100,000 gift from Freedom Boat Club and a new three-year partnership as part of the theatre’s ongoing “Expanding the Experience” fundraising campaign. The announcement was made by Glenn Bergoffen, owner of the Freedom Boat Club at the 2017 Corporate Sponsorship Reception on Wednesday, May 24. The event was attended by Ruth Eckerd Hall corporate partners, members and other guests. In recognition of the generous donation, the East Side Café at Ruth Eckerd Hall will be named The Freedom Boat Club Landing.
“I believe in the performing arts. I’m passionate about giving our young people the freedom to explore their gifts and talents. I consider Ruth Eckerd Hall a great investment to these ends,” commented Bergoffen.
For years the East Side Café has been the pre-show entertainment destination for shows at Ruth Eckerd Hall. This summer it will receive a renovation and nautical theme as it becomes the new Freedom Boat Club Landing. The commitment from Bergoffen and Freedom Boat Club will help make improvements to the area as it becomes an even more enjoyable outdoor environment.
“In addition to being longtime members, the Bergoffen’s have gone above and beyond with their generosity and friendship to the Hall,” commented Zev Buffman, Ruth Eckerd Hall President & CEO. “We are honored to have dedicated members like him that see where Ruth Eckerd Hall is going in the future and want to be a part of fulfilling our mission.”
The Capitol Campaign, “Expanding the Experience” is a $32 million campaign that began in 2013, with the renovation of the Capitol Theatre in Downtown Clearwater, the complete overhaul of the Murray Theatre in 2015 and the renovation of the Margarete Heye Great Room including a world-class commercial kitchen last year. This year, renovations begin at Ruth Eckerd Hall with the roadway improvements including new lanes for traffic, drop-off and departure, new signage, landscaping and lighting. In 2018, ground breaking will begin for a new grand lobby, a cabaret theatre and may other improvements.