The Upper Arlington Community Center Capital Campaign Committee today announced the receipt of a $2 million gift from Loann Crane for the construction of Upper Arlington’s new Community Center at Kingsdale.
Loann and Bob Crane always believed they were extremely fortunate in their lives and wanted to give back to the Upper Arlington and central Ohio communities. “This donation reflects our commitment to lead by example, and I hope it will prompt others in this community to follow with their financial support of this long-awaited and much needed Community Center,” said Loann Crane. “Bob loved this community and loved sports. He would have been proud to see this legacy continue for generations of Upper Arlington families.”
Bob Crane’s Story of Deep Roots and Lifelong Love for Upper Arlington
Bob Crane’s neighborhood growing up in Upper Arlington always held a special place in his heart including the family’s home on Stanford Road and nearby Miller Park, where he and his brother Jim, spent many hours playing. Unfortunately, during The Great Depression, Bob’s family lost everything they owned including their cherished home. Bob’s family prevailed and remained in the neighborhood, moving into a small apartment near the Mallway on the corner of Arlington Avenue and Guildford Road. Although they continued to struggle, they still benefited from the public parks and playing fields, as well as their friends and neighbors who supported them.
When Bob began to demonstrate a great interest and talent for tennis, he couldn’t afford a racket, so a family friend stepped in and gave him one, fueling Bob’s lifelong love and passion for the sport. In time, Bob went on to letter in four sports at Upper Arlington High School.
After college, Bob and his brother, Jim, went on to build a business started by their father and experienced great success. He and Loann, raised their 4 children in Upper Arlington, and several, in turn, lived in UA and raised their families. Bob deeply believed in giving back to the community that had been so good to him. He passed away in December,1992.
Margie Pizzuti, co-chair of the Campaign Committee, stated that “we are absolutely ecstatic and overwhelmingly grateful to Loann for this game-changing, generous commitment of $2 million to name the Community Center in honor of her beloved husband.”
Loann’s daughter, Jamie Crane, and her husband, Tim Miller will also make a gift to the campaign, endowing a scholarship fund to assist community members, who may have difficulty affording the Center’s fees--a reminder of the assistance her father received with the simple gift of a tennis racket.