Civic Center gala to reveal upcoming shows

LIMA — Anyone who enjoys the programming at the Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center will not want to miss Tuesday’s event. It is not a concert or a play, but the 2023-24 Season Reveal Gala starting at 5 p.m. will feature plenty of entertainment as the Civic Center Foundation presents the upcoming Broadway Series.

“Three out of the four shows in our Broadway Series will be doing single nights for the first time,” Civic Center CEO Abe Ambroza said. “They will still be doing some of the big markets like Columbus and Chicago, but we were able to get them the first year that they’re doing single nights. And this is not to discount the fourth show on our schedule, which is still a monster title and a classic.”

“It’s such an exciting event,” Director of Development for the Civic Center Carmen Cecala-Wells said. “We have live music and videos about the shows and the Civic Center and what it does for the community. It’s such an exciting event to be able to bring the community together and let them know about the upcoming season.”

Proceeds from two auctions during the event will go toward future entertainment, giving the foundation another reason to show appreciation.

“Without the help of our supporters and our donors, we wouldn’t be able to bring these shows to the community year after year,” Cecala-Wells said. “The evening is about announcing the season, but it’s also to thank everybody for the continued support so we can continue to do what we do. Another big part of the evening will be announcing our annual endowment fund, which a lot of people don’t realize is what we operate out of to be able to financially support the funds.”

“The gala is our biggest fundraiser of the year for our foundation,” Ambroza said. “Along with raising money, just like any fundraiser, we like to have a lot of fun. It’s a pretty laid-back experience and we always have a theme since we are an arts-based foundation.”

For this year, the theme is Y2K and guests are encouraged to dress in fashions from that era.

Cecala-Wells said that she is already getting requests from friends and community members for a taste of what is to come in advance of the night.

“I’ve had people all over the community come up to me asking for a sneak peek and if I could tell them what’s coming and that’s part of the excitement of the reveal,” she said. “We hold that secret until the evening and people are going to be surprised and excited. These shows are going to be a great part of the season and we can’t wait for people to be able to enjoy them in Lima.”

Ambroza added that he hopes the event accurately shows what the foundation brings to the community.

“I hope they take away the importance of the arts and what they can do for the community,” he said. “Hopefully they feel good about supporting what we’re doing. We’ve really built up a great reputation and we’ve been bringing in quality shows that our foundation has been able to raise the money to be able to afford. By doing that, we work hard to keep our ticket prices as low as we possibly can so that the whole community can support them.”

Tickets for the gala are available at


WHAT: 2023-24 Season Reveal Gala

WHEN: 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Veterans Memorial Civic Center, 7 Town Square, Lima.

Individual tickets are $60 or $400 for a table of eight. A VIP bourbon and martini lounge will be available for an additional cost. Tickets are available at

Reach Jacob Espinosa at 567-242-0399.