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Greater Cleveland Aquarium Grand Opening

Ken, Maddie and Tami Brown
(Greater Cleveland Aquarium Gala Opening)

Ian Mellsop, Zeynep Ocak and Conrad Mellsop
(Greater Cleveland Aquarium Gala Opening)

Claire, Hanna, Richard, Jeff, Renee and Lynda Jacobs
(Greater Cleveland Aquarium Gala Opening)

Ruth and Doug Mayers with Susan and Ron Kahn
(Greater Cleveland Aquarium Gala Opening)

Greater Cleveland Aquarium
Grand Opening

                    January 19 was the date of the long-anticipated opening of our city’s newest attraction, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, in the FirstEnergy Powerhouse on the west bank of the Flats. The exciting day began with a 9 a.m. ceremonial “ribbon-cutting” featuring the release of a giant bucket-full of blue and white balloons (the colors of the aquarium’s logo), creating a water-like cascade symbolizing the “Just Add Water” theme of the aquarium.     The invitation-only ceremony was attended by a host of politicians, dignitaries and representatives of the media. Among the speakers were Tami Brown, general manager of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium; Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson; City Council President Martin Sweeney; Jeff Jacobs, CEO of Jacobs Investments; Ian Mellsop, managing director of Marinescape, the New Zealand-based developers of the aquarium, and Dennis Chack, president of Ohio operations for FirstEnergy Corp., a partner in the project. Guests were treated to a first look at the new aquarium.
    The festivities continued in the evening with a gala party that drew 1,200 people. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres were available as guests walked through the aquarium. A buffet dinner was served at Windows on the River with Park Place providing music. The aquarium’s gala opening was a fundraiser to benefit Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. It was also the official kick-off for the organization’s $12 million capital campaign to renovate and expand the Ronald McDonald House on E. 105th Street and Euclid Avenue. STORY BY CAROLINE R. MERK/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROB WETZLER


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