Join Us For Meet and Greet Fundraiser to "Restore Cleveland Hope" (501C3 not for profit organization)

Submitted by Kevin Cronin on Tue, 03/31/2009 - 16:02.

Please join us on a fundraiser to remind NE Ohio of a progressive past and help reinvigorate a promising future.  Prior to the Civil War and emancipation, "Hope" was the code name for Cleveland for emancipating slaves seeking support in the final stop before Canada -- Come learn about the past and "Restore Cleveland Hope" with this fundraiser for the nonprofit and the effort to restore the Cozad-Bates Home, the oldest pre-civil war building in University Circle. 

Join Kevin Cronin and Leslye Huff and meet Joan Southgate, learn about the Cozad-Bates House and help the nonprofit "Restore Cleveland Hope"!

When: Thursday April 9, 4:-6:30 pm

Where: The Brown Hoist Building

4403 Saint Clair Avenue (corner of E. 45th St.)

Cleveland, Ohio 44103

Admission: $25, $50 or $100, to benefit Restore Cleveland Hope (501C3 not for profit organization)

Learn about early Cleveland's positive activities, the Cozad and Bates families and Reverend Ford, who assisted in emancipation efforts.  Two years ago, Joan Southgate, a vibrant eighty year-old St. Clair area resident walked across Ohio, as so many slaves seeking freedom from Virginia and Kentucky did before her, relying on supportive families to follow the Freedom trail.  In May, Joan will walk back to Cleveland, from the emancipation destination of St. Catherine's, Ontario, completing the final 220 miles of her 739 mile walk for freedom. 

Northeast Ohio has important stories to tell!! Prior to the Civil War, Cleveland was a vibrant stop on the route to freedom for escaping slaves:

* At least eight Lake Erie cities served as starting point to transport escaping slaves to freedom in Canada;

* Approximately 3,000 miles of "underground railroad" trails existed in Ohio;

* The National Park Service has identified ten Ohio "underground railroad sites in its National Register of Historic Places, more than any other state!

The Cozad-Bates House, located on Mayfield Road, just south of Euclid Avenue, has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974. 

RSVP: Kevin Cronin


kevin [dot] cronin [dot] ohio [at] gmail [dot] com


Joan Southgate and HOPE

  Worth remembering.  Do I need to pay in advance or at the door? I will RSVP to your email.

Restore Cleveland HOPE!

 Mark your calendar to join us on May 30, 2009, when Joan “completes the circle” and returns to help launch a new phase for the historic Cozad-Bates House.

Realize the goal of Restore Cleveland HOPE!  Today, I got to meet-up with Joan Southgate and other Clevelanders who want to continue the tradition of telling and passing on the history of Cleveland's role in the anti-slavery movement.  In the beautiful Brown Hoist building on St. Clair, the group completed a video interview of Joan Southgate.

This young eighty year-old, pictured in the photo center above, will make the 250 mile trek from Canada to come full circle, back to HOPE, the code for Cleveland as a stop on the Underground Railroad.  Her goal is to raise $1,000 for each mile on her journey.  She will return on May 30th and make the last mile with supporters.  Mark your calendars for her return and join in the establishment an Underground Railroad Education and Resource Center in the Cozad-Bates House, the only pre-Civil War house still standing in the University Circle area.


How You Can Help

Just as the Underground Railroad needed many “conductors” and “stationmasters” to succeed, In Their Path 2009! will need plenty of “modern-day conductors” to help Joan, founder and executive director of the non-profit RCH, reach her goal of raising $250,000. We challenge RCH friends and supporters to form teams of friends, coworkers or colleagues at church or other organizations to help raise $1,000 to “buy a mile” of her 250-mile journey from Canada to Cleveland. Those who buy a mile will be recognized on a plaque we plan to hang in the restored Cozad-Bates House. We also challenge members of the community to begin training now to join Joan May 30, 2009, on the final leg of her journey, walking the last few miles from Lake Erie onto the lush lawn of the Cozad-Bates House.

1. Pledge to be part of this effort to realize the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a Beloved Community built on reconciliation, freedom and hope. Return the pledge card with how you can contribute. Pledge Card

2. Assemble your team to “buy a mile” of Joan’s walk. Perhaps family, friends, church members, coworkers, block club or book club participants may want to join you in this remarkable journey. We’re available if you need help with ideas for building a team. Email us at info [at] restoreclevelandhope [dot] org or call 216-231-0301.

3. Start training to join Joan and other supporters in the last few miles of her journey. Joan heads out for her training walk at 5 a.m. every day. If she can do that at 79, so can you. Our vision of a Beloved Community promotes both spiritual and physical well-being.

4. Send RCH updates of your progress. On our Website,, we want to share your stories of creativity and collaboration to achieve this vision for Cleveland.

5. Mark your calendar to join us on May 30, 2009, when Joan “completes the circle” and returns to help launch a new phase for the historic Cozad-Bates House.

We thank you all for your efforts. With the help of many, great deeds are possible.