This is a difficult letter to write, so I'll get straight to the point: Cleveland "Rocks" New Year's Eve 2015 is officially canceled.
It all comes down to simple math. With the coming convention and other special projects vying for funds from a finite pool of resources, we were unable to secure the corporate and other donor support to host a NYE event that would be on par with past productions and up to the level of excellence that Cleveland deserves.
There is a thin line between having faith and being naive. As much as I hate to undo the pro bono work that my amazing team has put in over the last year, I'm not willing to subject us to deficits that would be detrimental to our long-term goals of investing in our city and its people.
I apologize to everyone who has volunteered, sponsored, or partnered with usâ€”including Drew Carey, who once again agreed to participate for no fee. I know that this is disappointing news and that you may encounter some of the flack that will likely flow from this cancellation. It is my hope that your efforts will be rememberedâ€”we could not have come this far without you, your skills, your drive and your faith in this big, abstract, creative and civically meaningful dream.
I also extend my apology to the 10,000-plus past supporters of CLENYE, many of whom were preparing to brave frigid temperatures and join us again. For those who have already purchased tickets, refund processing will begin today. Please visit CLENYE.com for details.
As we move forward, please be assured that Ohio Homecoming remains committed to Cleveland and making Cleveland "Rocks" New Year's Eve a sustainable legacy event for our city. We look forward to the return to Public Square next year, and will share the plan for making that happen at our first meeting of the new year.
While today's announcement is disappointing, we won't let it undo the immense goodwill and commitment CLENYE and the Ohio Homecoming Movement have generated for the city.
This is a fall but not a defeat.
Alonzo Mitchell III
All online ticket buyers will receive a email message by tomorrow morning with refund instructions. All buyers will have the money released tomorrow and will be back in their accounts in 3 - 5 days depending on the bank.
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