GREENLife Eco Gala Raises $60,000

Six Marketing Students dance at the Eco Gala event. Photo courtesy of The Green Dream

Six Marketing Students dance at the Eco Gala event. Photo courtesy of The Green Dream

Six Marketing students dance at the Eco Gala event. Photo courtesy of The Green Dream

By Haley Marblestone, Staff Writer

To the Excel TECH marketing students in Greg Perry’s class, being green means more than just recycling your water bottle every day. This year, the students added a wellness component to their already-thriving Green Dream eco-friendly showcase. They feel that being green is more of a lifestyle choice. It’s the idea of protecting our planet while protecting ourselves as well. That is why they opened the first GREENLife Eco Gala to celebrate eco-food, eco-fitness, and eco-fashion.

Eight different “green” food companies – including our own Beachwood Bistro – catered throughout the night to promote healthy, organic eating. Performance art, yoga and other fitness related events occurred throughout the night including a dance by the marketing students dressed in green morph suits to show an active green lifestyle.  Also, models from an Eco Fashion Show by Virginia Marti College of Art & Design strutted through the stage to show their way of promoting a green life.

What exactly is the GREENLife eco gala? It is a fundraising benefit where green businesses have the option to buy tables to advertise their businesses. The public can also buy a ticket to walk around and look at all of the different products. Performances continue throughout the night to keep the event upbeat.  All proceeds benefit The Green Dream 2011 and its green and wellness initiatives.  This year, the gala raised over $60,000 and 310 guests attended.

With this money, the students want to build an even greener classroom than what is now, “The Greenest Classroom in America.”

Senior and CEO Michael Bohm said, “In the new classroom we hope to add a big wellness factor while staying green. It would be really cool if we could have treadmills power parts of the classroom.”

Marketing teacher Greg Perry has high expectations for the future.

Perry said, “Since the class and company are student-based, they decide what they want for the future of the Green Dream. Right now, many students are enrolling in the class because they believe in the Green Dream and want to continue to make it better.  2011 is an important year for the evolution of the Green Dream as we added the health and wellness component.”

The lead sponsors of the Green Dream are Green Street Solution, University Hospitals Ahuja Medcial Center and The Cleveland Clinic, but how do high school students get these big sponsors?

Perry noted, “The community is extra supportive because it is a student-run event. The students get sponsors through a lot of hard work. Students have to court the companies and develop long-term relationships with them.  Usually they invite the company into the Green classroom to see the students at work and the classroom itself.  Right now, we have 21 sponsors that have contributed between $750 – $6,500.”

Another huge accomplishment for the class was having Sarah Backhouse, Discovery Planet Green Host, emcee the event.  She is the “model for green” in Hollywood, and she contributed high energy throughout the night.

This marketing program has excelled beyond anyone’s expectations.  Bohm exclaimed, “Marketing has done an unbelievable amount for me.  It has set me in the right path for my future, taught me a lot on how to work as a team, and also how to compose myself as a great business man.”

More information about the Green Dream is available at and also, mark your calendar for the fourth annual event on April 15, 2011 – Ohio’s largest eco-friendly showcase presented by the Green Dream.

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