On the eve of Thursday's fundraiser show, Ravenna graduate Brent Webb went back to the schools he attended to give students a teaser of his event.
Webb, a 1993 graduate of Ravenna High School is sponsoring a benefit to help pay for improvements to the track, turf and tennis courts, which will be done this summer. Half of the proceeds from the show will go toward the $1 million project. The show is at 7 p.m. tonight in the high school auditorium.
On Wednesday, Webb visited Brown Middle School and Ravenna High School to give students a "teaser" of tonight's event and encourage ticket sales.
Superintendent Dennis Honkala said the pre-sale of tickets is off to a good start, with more than 200 tickets already sold. Tickets are $12. They are available at the Kent and Ravenna branches of Hometown Bank, at the board of education offices at 507 E. Main Street, from select high school students and at the door the day of the show.
Introducing Webb to students at Brown Middle School, Honkala told students Webb is a "mentalist" who has performed in Las Vegas and on cruise ships all over the world.
"This is somebody who can actually read your minds," he said.
Webb spoke about following your dreams before picking out eighth grader Christian Hinton and seventh grader Destiny Barnett as audience volunteers. The students were asked to pick random words from books and movie titles, and watched as Webb used his "mental ability" to determine the words or titles students were thinking of.
But although he correctly discerned the colors in Barnett's movie poster, he incorrectly determined that her movie was Titanic instead of Jaws.
"Oh darn," he said, explaining that independent testers have determined that he's correct 97 percent of the time. Later, he presented the student with a card from a box, guarded by a student in the audience, stating that he knew her movie was Jaws all along.
Webb told students he moved to California after graduation and connected with celebrities to achieve his dream of performing on stage. Although the move was scary, he said, he had to push his fears aside.
The district, which is seeking to raise as much private money for the stadium project as possible, recently sold naming rights to the stadium to Portage Community Bank. The district is now pursuing naming rights for the track, press box and scoreboard, and will also sell advertising in the form of signage around the stadium. The football field will forever be known as Gilcrest Field, named for Harry Gilcrest, the coach for whom the old football stadium was named.
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