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St. Edward High School’s 75 volunteers to Undertake Beautification Project in Lakewood’s Birdtown Neighborhood May 16

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LakewoodAlive, a non-profit community development organization, is coordinating 75 volunteers from St. Edward High School – including alumni, students and parents – on May 16 from 9 am-noon. There will be six highly visible curb appeal projects taking place in this proud working-class neighborhood.

LakewoodAlive’s Community Engagement Program is developing outreach to homeowners and residents in two low-moderate income neighborhoods to support affordable housing, stabilize and establish a sense of pride, ownership, and leverage the power of neighborhood relationships.

WHAT:          Curb appeal project with St. Edward’s students, families and alumni; coordinated by LakewoodAlive

WHEN:          Saturday, May 16, 9 am-12 noon

WHERE:        12311 Plover, 12319 Plover, 12510 Plover, 2116 Robin, 2112 Robin, 2108 Robin

MORE INFORMATION: Contact Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive Housing Outreach Director, at 216-521-0655 or

Community Forum May 13: “Exploring the Legend: Is Equality Alive in Lakewood?”

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Join us for our next forum “Exploring the Legend: Is Equality Alive in Lakewood?” as we discuss the importance of equality and efforts to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to our community. The forum continues LakewoodAlive’s tradition of hosting community conversations dating back more than 10 years.

When: Wednesday, May 13, 7-8:30pm
Where: Lakewood Public Library, 15425 Detroit Avenue

Panelists include:

  • Michaela Hahn Burriss, Midwest Outreach Manager, Small Business Majority
  • Michael Daso, Financial Consultant, AXA Advisors
  • Alana Jochum, Northeast Ohio Director, Equality Ohio
  • Maureen Greeves, Lakewood resident and parent
  • Michelle Tomallo (Moderator), President and Co-founder, Fit Technologies

Audience members will be encouraged to join the conversation and ask the panelists questions.

The forum is free and open to the public.

See the forum flyer here: Exploring the Legend Flyer

Creative Collaboration Leads to Vacant Property Transformation

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1446 Mars Avenue as it appeared in summer 2013.

By: Colin McEwen and Ian Andrews

In 2012, the city of Lakewood bought two boarding houses that had become troubled properties in the community.

One of those homes, at 1446 Mars Avenue, was unveiled to the community at a special open house on Wednesday night.

Since 2013, the city partnered with LakewoodAlive and the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization to completely transform the property. A similar project is underway at 1436 Grace Avenue — also a former boarding house.

“Government action, private sector ingenuity, and marketplace trends have aligned for this great outcome,” said Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers. “This is a remarkable transformation from a major threat to this historic neighborhood, to what is now its crown jewel.”

1446 Mars Avenue After

1446 Mars Avenue on April 8, 2015.

The developer, Darren Mancuso of Relief Properties, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to breathe new life into the former 13-bedroom vacant home.

The 2,600-square-foot structure is now a single-family home. Relief Properties created an open floor plan, while preserving many historic elements including a coat tree, a set of pocket doors, original columns, a stain glass window, among other efforts.

Dozens of members of the community, including Mayor   Summers and Ohio State Representative Nickie Antonio, stopped by the home for a tour during the open house, marveling at the restoration.

1446 Mars Ribbon Cutting

Relief Properties Owner and Developer Darren Mancuso cuts the ribbon to celebrate the completion of a near-total renovation at 1446 Mars Avenue.

“I could not be more thrilled to see 1446 Mars undergo such a dramatic transformation,” said LakewoodAlive Executive Director Ian Andrews. “None of this would have been possible without the incredible partnership of the city of Lakewood, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization and Relief Properties. Additionally, this house serves as an example of how a turn-of-the-century home can support modern design while maintaining its historic integrity.”

Click here to see video shot by Rick Uldricks, Lakewood Citizen.

For more information, call Housing Outreach Director Allison Urbanek at 216-521-0655.

Before pictures of 1446 Mars Avenue

LakewoodAlive Blossoms Now Available for all of Lakewood

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We are pleased to announce the continuation of our very successfulphoto 1
beautification service designed to help YOU—our merchants—make your storefronts more attractive and inviting.

Again this year we are partnering with Lakewood’s own Lakewood Garden Center to provide newly designed and professionally planted Earth Box planters with flowers appropriate for the sun/shade needs of your location. These Earth Box planters have built-in water reservoir that significantly reduces watering requirements.

We have two different options for businesses in Lakewood this year. One option is for Downtown Lakewood businesses, this will be a continuation of the program that has existed over the past few years.  ***New this year*** for businesses outside of Downtown Lakewood is an easy 5 step process for you to purchase your very own Earth Box, Earth Box Stand and flowers that will flourish in front of your businesses. (Deadline March 13, 2015)

Downtown Lakewood Businesses
Downtown Lakewood Blossoms Application 


All Businesses Outside of Downtown Lakewood
LakewoodAlive Blossoms Information

LakewoodAlive Honors Volunteers at Annual Volunteer Breakfast

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LakewoodAlive, a volunteer-driven organization, held its annual volunteer appreciation breakfast on January 23, 2015 at the Women’s Pavilion in Lakewood Park. The event, attended by 50 volunteers, board members and staff, recognized the more than 750 volunteers that help the non-profit economic/community development organization fulfill its mission to strengthen the local economy and improve Lakewood’s quality of life. The dedication and passion of the organization’s volunteers was recognized by board president Bryan de Boer when he said, “You are what makes Lakewood a better place to live and call home.”

Several volunteers were honored at the event for their exemplary service to the organization and the community.

LakewoodAlive thanks both Jay Foran and Paula Reed for their service on the LakewoodAlive Alive Board of Directors as their terms have concluded. Jay was a founding member of LakewoodAlive and served as Community Engagement Chairman and Board Secretary. Paula, “Mrs. Lakewood,” served as the Downtown Lakewood Chairwoman and is the current vice president of the Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance, a program of LakewoodAlive.

Volunteer Champion Awards were given to the following individuals:

  • Mary Bond was the 2014 Light Up Lakewood Chair, an event that drew nearly 10,000 people
  • Cross Point Church volunteers Josiah Sutton & Reid Phifer assisted with five housing projects in 2014
  • Michael & Tina Dolatowski were volunteers for the Lakewood Wine & Craft Beer Festival
  • Rob Donaldson has completed several significant LakewoodAlive Design Committee projects
  • Cindy Friedmann and her crew at Dependable Painting donated a full-house exterior paint job
  • Gordon Geiger served as Lakewood Wine & Craft Beer Festival Chairman
  • Mosaic Leader Kevin Phipps and his volunteers completed a summer-long, full-house exterior paint job
  • Dana Paul provided construction management for the Housing Volunteer Committee
  • Chris Vance has recruited musicians and volunteers for the Front Porch Concert Series for four years

A special award is given out each year to a top LakewoodAlive volunteer for excellence in service. The Laskey Service Award was named for Tim Laskey, a founding member of LakewoodAlive. The 2014 Laskey Service Award recipient is Carl Orban. Carl has volunteered with LakewoodAlive since 2013 and has been an incredible champion of LakewoodAlive, the Housing Outreach Program and the Housing Outreach Volunteer Committee. Carl has helped elevate the program to new heights including project coordination during The Cleveland Orchestra Residency’s PORCHestra events. He and his wife have also volunteered for the Lakewood Wine & Craft Beer Festival. Lakewood is lucky to have the Orban family here and the organization is humbled by all that Carl does.

Click here for pictures of the event.

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