Cleveland history logo

The Cleveland Storyteller Uses History to Raise Thousands for Autism

Famous & Infamous Women of Millionaires' Row Autism Fundraiser, January 25, 2015

Dinner & Live Presentation by Dan Ruminski, The Cleveland Storyteller

Sunday, January 25, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Pine Ridge Country Club, 30601 Ridge Rd, Wickliffe, OH 44092


Order tickets online, or order by phone by calling Dan Rumiski at

Event Highlights

5:30 p.m.: Cocktails (cash bar)
6:00 p.m.: Dinner
7:00 p.m.: Live Presentation by Dan Ruminski, Cleveland's Storyteller
Tickets: $65 individual, $125 couple
(Reservations by January 23, 2015, required)

100% of proceeds will provide iPads to autistic children.

Laura Hoffman on Bill Wills Radio Show About Autism

6/9/14 Willoughby Rotary Lunch - Autism iPad Giveaway

The big day arrived on Monday June 9th, 2014—our Willoughby Rotary held its second annual iPad giveaway to organizations who work with children and adults with autism who otherwise could not afford to purchase these wonderful devices. The grand total given out was 55 units (breakdown of recipients below).

The video above shows how their iPad will be used to improve the lives of both parents and children dealing with autism.

Thank you to each and every one of you who came to my talks and purchased my book and DVD. This process helped in raising the funds needed to accomplish our goal. With your help we are making a difference. Every dollar raised went to the bottom line. This is Rotary.

We will continue our efforts—our goal is to award 56 iPads next year.

Dan Ruminski

2014 iPad Distribution Breakdown
Agency Name # iPads Contact/Sponsor Name Recipient Name (Individual)
Brandon's Place 4 Karen Forbes N/A
Broadmoor School 11 Sheryl Kline N/A
C.A.R.E.S. 6 Christy LaPaglia N/A
Different Needz 1 Al Hehr Gabriel Van Vuren
Mentor Schools 4 Heather Ambrus N/A
Share-A-Vision 10 Christy LaPaglia N/A
W/E Schools 5 Eileen Bowers N/A
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Lauren Kalb Noah Kalb
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Dave Anderson Landon Anderson
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Dan Ruminski Teagan Koehler
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Linda Wise Owen Lister
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Linda Wise Shawn Wroblewski
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Linda Wise Colleen Stella
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Linda Wise Randy Gornichec
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Linda Wise Rahul Prasad
Willoughby Fine Arts 2 Steve Atkins Ali & Katie
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Amy Ridegway Aiden Ritari
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Ken Graham Paul Cardinale
Willoughby Fine Arts 2 Bill Giffin Monnis & Marissa
Willoughby Fine Arts 1 Dan Ruminski Kade Baker

4/26/13 Willoughby Rotary Lunch - Autism iPad Giveaway

Thank you to each and every one of you who supported my cause and the cause of our Willoughby Rotary Project, the buying of iPads for children with autism. By buying one of books or DVD's you allowed me to contribute to the wonderful endeavor. Your attendance at my fundraising dinners also went a long way on raising over $15,000.

Monday, April 29th at our weekly lunch our Rotary gave away 34 iPads to 4 different groups who would put these to wonderful use in educating children with autism. Please see enclosed.

In this day and age I know it is extremely important that any donation be totally accounted for. As always with our Rotary each and every penny collected went to the bottom line.

The video (above) of our event included a demonstration of the iPads from two of these special children. The breakdown of iPads given to organizations (and their representatives) is presented below.

Please follow this site for the date of our next dinner fundraiser which should be in January or February, 2014.

Dan Ruminski

iPads Awarded April 26, 2013

Willoughby Eastlake Schools: 10
Represented by Andrea Ryan

Share A Vision: 9
Christi Lapaglia

Deepwood: 12
Duane Zettle Michelle Cimperman

Fine Arts: 3
Jeannie Flemming-Gifford

The members of the Willoughby Rotary Club voted to make a difference in their community by helping families affected by Autism. The club was looking for a local need that they could support not only financially, but in other ways as well. When Autism was suggested and members learned more about it, it became obvious that this was a project that every Rotarian could "wrap" their arms around.

The basic facts are staggering:

  • Autism affects 1 in 110 children
  • Autism affects 1 in 70 boys, and boys are four times more likely to have Autism
  • More children will be diagnosed with Autism this year than with cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined
  • Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.

These statistics supported the extent of the national need but we soon discovered that many of our own members were impacted close to home with family and friends being challenged by this condition. There were only a few members who did not know of a family affected by Autism. We also discovered that there were many local health, educational and service entities separately trying to help these families but there were two major and immediate needs:

  • Funding, because Autism causes receive little organized funding support
  • Awareness, because the average person is not aware of the extent of this epidemic, and how children with Autism can be helped. In fact there is more misinformation than accurate information being presented currently

Next, we were faced with the challenge of finding a unique way to generate this awareness and revenue. While searching for the answer, one member of our club, Daniel Ruminski, volunteered to lead our efforts. Dan is "Cleveland's greatest storyteller," with his own mission to educate Greater Clevelanders (and anyone who will listen) on the rarely known but spectacular history of Cleveland, Ohio as a worldleader in developing successful business people and products, and accordingly, in accumulating very significant wealth. Dan has conducted his talks to packed halls throughout Greater Cleveland to rave reviews.

Dan felt that he could educate (and entertain) people on Cleveland's history through his storytelling, as we also would educate them about and earn revenue for Autism. We planned a series of these "WRAP Cleveland History Talks" when members and the general public could attend "Dinner and a Story." The first event was sold out and raised over $3000 through attendees and sponsors. Mentor Rotarian Roger Sustar led the support with a $1000 sponsorship from his company, Fredon, Inc. More sponsors have pledged support for future talks. We are especially excited that the world-renowned leader in health care, The Cleveland Clinic, has agreed to support our WRAP efforts financially and in an educational capacity.

Dan Ruminski, The Cleveland Storyteller, uses history to create spellbinding entertainment for your fundraiser. His presentations are not dry history lectures, but rather entertaining stories loaded with great characters including the Rockefellers, Whites, Drurys, and others who made Cleveland’s Millionaires' Row one of the most beautiful and wealthiest streets in the world.

Dan’s events are usually sold out, and he has raised thousands for local charities. A recent Willoughby Rotary fundraiser for autism raised over $5000, and has gained several corporate sponsors for future events.

“Dan’s programs have been exciting and educational. His relaxed style of storytelling allows his audience to listen to history as if they are living it!”
– Katherine Malmquist, Gates Mills Branch Mgr., Cuyahoga County Public Library

Donations & Sponsorship

Please help support our project.

$500 sponsorship includes:

  • Four tickets
  • Recognition at the event
  • Sponsors will be listed on the Willoughby Rotary and Cleveland History Lessons websites through June 30, 2015
  • Tax-deductible portion: $380

Direct donations to our project, or sponsorship of our "Dinner and a Story" events, will help us achieve our annual goal of 50 iPads for children with autism.

iPads for Autism - Willoughby Rotary Autism Project

Dan Ruminski has committed to doing numerous fundraisers to help fund this project. Additionally, he is donating a portion of his book sales to the Willoughby Rotary Autism Project (WRAP).

To learn more or to support the Willoughby Rotary Foundation's iPads for Autism Project...

Tax-deductible donations for this project are greatly appreciated. You may donate to the Willoughby Rotary Foundation here.

If you're interested in having Dan speak to your group or at your event, please use the form below to contact him.

Contact Dan:



Preferred Phone Number:

Comments or Questions:

CODE HINT: number seven, uppercase "J", number seven

CODE HINT: number seven, uppercase "J", number seven

Back to Top button