Wherever you are tonight between 5-6pm PST, please raise a glass in Ron’s honor as the candlelight memorial takes place in Los Angeles at the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center .
The following is from the press release from the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center The event is closed to the public due to size limitations.
More than 50 youth and adults will gather tonight from 5-6pm at the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center to honor Ron Glass for 24 years of service at the South Los Angeles youth center. Glass, who passed away of respiratory failure on November 18, joined the center’s board of directors in 1992.
The event is closed to the public due to size limitations as about 60 youth and adults, including Ron’s closest friends, to gather on our basketball court with candles and signs, a photo slideshow, Barney Miller and Firefly reruns and more.
Glass’ long-time friend, Ira Pelosky, then-branch manager at Long Beach Bank in Beverly Hills, had read about the Wooten Center in the Wall Street Journal. The paper had published an article on the center to focus on positive activities in the riot zone. Both were looking for a way to respond to the city’s civil unrest. Pelofsky suggested that Ron join him in a visit to see how they could help.
The result was 24 years of board service for Glass, including 12 years as board chairperson, helping the center purchase our current buildings, helping found our annual dinner and golf tournament fundraisers, commissioning his good friend Synthia Saint James to create an “Envision” painting now featured in our logo and Vision Awards trophy, serving as the catalyst for more college-prep programming continued today via our SAT-prep workshops.
Glass served as emcee at numerous Wooten events. His last time volunteering with the kids was in an activity called Storybook Theater. Glass read a story from Aesop’s Fables while the kids acted it out. He had a hearty laugh that made you crack up just hearing it! If you’ve ever called his home and gotten his voicemail you’ve been fooled once or twice thinking it was him answering the phone with his contagious laughter.
We are appreciate fans and friends like Joss Whedon of Avengers and Firefly fame who tweeted that people donate to the Wooten Center on Glass’ behalf. We have received about $4,200 so far in small donations on our website at www.wootencenter.org/ronglass. Marsia Powers, president Fandom Charities, has pledged to give the center proceeds from their May 2017 WhedonCon convention.
“We knew Ron was a very special guy,” said Naomi McSwain, Wooten executive director. “Not surprised that people love him but the number of people who have contacted us is surprising. Maybe around 50 or so people who have donated online and several thousand tweets and retweets about Ron’s work at the center. Even that should not be surprising since we know Ron loved the center and was great friends with our founder. He gave so much of himself and brought so many friends to provide support over the years. He is smiling and probably laughing as only he can about this new support, I’m sure.”
Myrtle Faye Rumph founded the Wooten Center in 1990, naming it after her son, killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. The center started in a rented two-room storefront next door to Mrs. Rumph’s moving and storage business on 91st and Western. Today, we are housed in five buildings the center owns (largely thanks to Glass) across the street from our original site. We provide free afterschool and low-cost summer programs for more than 300 students per year in grades 3-12 at the center and other sites. For more information, visit www.wootencenter.org.