LIMA — Veterans Memorial Civic Center held an opening gala Friday evening to kick off the Town Square Live performing arts series, and the event hit all the right notes.
“We’re good to go,” Civic Center CEO Cynthia Wood said. “The weather is cooperating, and it’s all coming together.”
This new series is a unique endeavor for the foundation, a push to make creative decisions locally and retain profits, thanks to investment from local business investors.
“We’ve had the opportunity through the generosity and support of our investors, our business partners, our community leaders and public officials to create a fund within the foundation board that’s bringing to all of us the Town Square Live performance series,” Civic Center Foundation president Robert Fitzgerald said at the series announcement in October.
During the sold-out opening gala, Fitzgerald was excited to see this vision coming together.
“This is a night of celebration,” he said. “This the 30th year this facility has been open, and it’s still such a great place to come. It means so much that we can launch this series at this time. I think the community should be proud of itself, and more importantly, Cindy and the entire staff should be very proud of what they’ve done.”
Fitzgerald was gratified that even after three decades, the Civic Center is still a vital part of Lima’s downtown area.
“This is one of the most charming and engaging settings Lima could have,” he said. “These windows offer an amazing vantage point, overlooking not just the downtown but literally the entire community.”
The performance series boasts several notable acts, including Friday night’s act, Voiceplay, an a capella quintet which gained national prominence after competing in the latest season of NBC’s “The Sing Off.” The group entertained the crowd both with its tight harmonies and vocal beat boxing to various pop and Top 40 hits from throughout the years, but also with a healthy dose of lighthearted humor, drawing plenty of laughs from the audience.
“To sit and watch them, they’re very innovative and hilarious,” Wood said. “They do all sorts of comedy routines that are completely engaging.”
Fitzgerald was proud to see a local initiative drawing major talent to the community.
“It’s great to have a nationally recognized group perform here in Lima to kick off Town Square Live,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve had a group that’s recognized nationally with the money staying here within the community.”