The Upper Arlington Community Foundation partnered with the City of Upper Arlington to bring residents a long-awaited community center. In 2021, the Foundation formed the Upper Arlington Community Center Capital Campaign Committee to secure private funds for the project. In April 2023, the Committee surpassed raising $8.1 million in private support. A lead Campaign gift of $2 million by the late Loann Crane named the facility the Bob Crane Community Center, in recognition of his love for his UA community and sports.
More than 500 supporters contributed to the Campaign through the sale of the iconic Kingsdale Lazarus blue bricks (from the building that once stood on the new Community Center construction site), from an anonymous challenge gift that matched gifts of $5,000 and less, from funds contributed to a picture bear mosaic that will hang in the future space, and by dedicated community members committed to make the dream of a community center a reality.
Bob Crane’s family lost everything during The Great Depression. An Upper Arlington neighbor gifted him a tennis racquet when he could not afford one on his own. This small act of kindness had a lasting impression on Bob and fostered his life-long mission to pay forward for others. The Bob Crane Community Center will continue to celebrate community as an inter-generational gathering space where neighbors can build relationships through health, wellness and recreational activities. Bob and Loann’s spirit of giving to community is a value shared by the entire Crane Family today.
“My dad, Bob Crane, would be humbled and proud to have this wonderful Community Center named for him. He spent most of his life in UA and would be thrilled that my mom and all his family and friends contributed to making this dream come true,” says daughter, Jamie Crane.
Grateful to Capital Campaign Committee
Members of the Upper Arlington Community Center Capital Campaign include Co-Chairs Margie Pizzuti and Mike Fitzpatrick, Honorary Co-Chairs Wendy and Kate Gomez, Honorary Co-Chairs Bill and Brad Hosket, Marissa and Jeff Backes, M.D., Greg Comfort, Jamie Crane and Tim Miller, Lisa Ingram and Greg Guy, Mary Ann Krauss, Michael Martz, Emily and John Ness, Carolyn and Andrew Weeks, Ex-Officio Members Steve Schoeny, UA City Manager, and Brendan King, UA City Council President.