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15,000 Bay Area Kids to Benefit From Donations

Donations To The Marcia P. Hoffman School Of The Arts At Ruth Eckerd Hall Will Provide Free Field Trips To School Time Series Performances For 15,000 Tampa Bay Area Children

Ruth Eckerd Hall announced today that they had successfully raised the funds necessary to provide performing arts field trips to 15,000 Tampa Bay area schoolchildren. The performances, arranged by the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall, which previously required an admission charge of $5 per child, will be offered for free and are open to schools throughout Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties.

“When we learned about schools and kids who couldn’t afford to attend, it pulled at our heartstrings and we wanted to do something to help,” said Alan Gassman of the Clearwater law firm Gassman, Crotty & Denicolo, P.A. The firm pledged $10,000 to be used as a matching fund to encourage additional donations. Ruth Eckerd Hall members met the match by donated $10,000 in a single day, and with the help of an additional anonymous matching gift, went on to contribute more than $50,000.

“This is unprecedented!” commented Zev Buffman Ruth Eckerd Hall President & CEO. “Providing arts and education to our community is at the core of our mission. With the generous support of our donors we continue to connect the stars of today with the stars of tomorrow, our children.”

For more than 20 years, the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall has invited school classes from across the Tampa Bay area to the SchoolTime Series, an educational based performance series, that in addition to supplementing programs in science, reading, history and math, it also provides children an opportunity to experience a live theatre production. Last year 15,000 children attended at least one of these performances.

For more information or to make a tax-deductable contribution in any amount, please visit or call 727-712-2720.

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, manages and operates the Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts, the Capitol Theatre and other related off–site programs such as Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road. Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc.’s mission is to engage the community to explore, discover, experience and master quality performing arts.

Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts, owned by the City of Clearwater and operated by Ruth Eckerd Hall, Inc., includes the 2,200–seat Ruth Eckerd Hall, the 200–seat Murray Theatre, the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts, the 5,500 sq. ft. Margarete Heye Great Room and is located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, Florida 33759.

Ruth Eckerd Hall was named the #1 theatre venue in the world (seating capacity 2,001–5,000) by industry trade publication Venues Today (March 14–April 15, 2015), #10 in the world of theatre venues by industry trade publication Pollstar (January 1–March 31, 2015) and #1 in the world for theatre venues with 2,500 seats or less for the decade (2000–2009) by Billboard magazine. All rankings are based on concert and event grosses during mentioned time period. Designed by the prestigious Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Ruth Eckerd Hall is known for its fantastic sightlines and near–perfect acoustics and hosts more than 250 events a year including pop, rock, jazz and classical concerts, musicals, comedy, movies and more.

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