Plato and Tina Pavlatos of Springfield will receive the prestigious Founder’s Award at Clark State Community College’s Circle of Friends Gala. The Gala will be held Friday, April 24 at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center, 275 South Fountain Avenue in downtown Springfield.
“The committee who chooses each year’s honoree is made up of past Founder’s Award recipients,” said Catherine Stipe, Clark State’s advancement specialist. “Plato and Tina have not only been active supporters of the Performing Arts Center, but support the arts throughout the Springfield community.”
Plato Pavlatos, born and raised in Springfield, Ohio, is also a founding member of the Circle of Friends, a committee responsible for Performing Arts Center fundraising efforts and the annual Gala. The Circle of Friends created the Founder’s Award in 2004 to recognize and honor individuals and businesses that have contributed to the success and sustainability of the Performing Arts Center.
Pavlatos said he was surprised to be selected as this year’s Founder’s Award recipient. “We were pretty humbled,” he said. “There are a lot of folks out there who have supported the Performing Arts Center and the arts.”
The arts have been a part of Plato’s and Tina’s lives since childhood, and they believe arts and culture are vital to communities. “Our parents were very good about immersing both of us in arts and culture while growing up,” said Plato Pavlatos. “It’s something that is a part of who we are. It’s something that is needed, and we feel very strongly about supporting it.” Pavlatos said arts and culture are beneficial to communities and education. “It’s the center that pulls everything together – economic development, human services, education, environment and health – arts and culture touches all of those, and it’s critically important. It’s why we value supporting the arts.”
Not only was Pavlatos a founding member of the Circle of Friends, but he and Tina also sponsor the Club Kuss Series, which he describes as unique, eclectic and diverse programming. “I’ve been a sponsor of that since its inception. We feel very passionate about it.”
Pavlatos said he cannot identify just one – or even a handful of – favorite performances. He said each one is unique and has “something to deliver.” And while next season’s Club Kuss Series has not yet been announced, Pavlatos credits the staff at the Performing Arts Center for putting together an appealing series each year. “Every time I go to a performance – whether it’s Club Kuss or another – it really is an experience,” he said. “Every one is different. They are just unique and great in their own way.”
As the Founder’s Award recipients, Plato and Tina Pavlatos will be presented with a sculpture by Michael Major. The sculpture combines some of the mass shapes of the Performing Arts Center to create a performing figure, celebrating generous giving and artistic excellence.
Pavlatos feels honored and privileged to be this year’s Founder’s Award recipient and to become a part of past honorees, too. “Springfield is a great community and certainly one we are proud of,” he said. “Proud to be part of and proud to support.”
The Circle of Friends Gala will begin with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center. Dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. with the Founder’s Award Program to follow. Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers will begin at 8 p.m. in the Kuss Auditorium.
Previous Founder’s Award Recipients
2004 Richard Kuss – Albert Salerno – Harry M. Turner
2005 Fred Leventhal
2006 John Field
2007 Jim Foreman
2008 Dwight W. and Jane P. Hollenbeck
2009 James H. and Nike D. Lagos
2010 Security National Bank
2011 David Hartley and David Hobson
2012 Dr. Nicholas and Mrs. Thalia Pavlatos
2013 Dr. Karen E. Rafinski
2014 Randy Kapp