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Established in 1987, “Friends of Slovenian National Home, Inc.” was organized exclusively for the purpose of assisting the Slovenian National Home in its maintenance as a Landmark cultural facility in the City of Cleveland. For ten years this group was spearheaded by Jean Krizman along with fellow members Charles F.Ipavec, Stanley Frank, Edward Kenik, Ann and Sophie Opeka, and volunteers, Don and Rose Slogar and Sylvia Plymesser. Through Jean’s tenacity and the tireless help of Charles Ipavec, Friends applied for and received an Internal Revenue Service Tax exempt status becoming a 501©3 organization in 1989. With the tax exempt status, Friends was able to move forward with their fund raising campaigns.


Jean led numerous major projects during her tenure. It all began with a new auditorium roof, commercial kitchen dishwasher, stage repairs, new stage curtains, improved sound and security systems, and new air conditioners and boilers. One of the greatest accomplishments was the restoration of the Gaspari curtain in 1993. This took Damjan Kreze four months to complete along with the Mural of Slovenia that adorns the wall behind the bar in the “Eddie Kenik Room.”


Ellen Lunder took over the leadership from Jean and directed the fulfillment of Jean’s vision of new ADA restrooms for the main hall and the handicap lift enclosure. During Ellen’s eight year tenure, projects included the installation of the fire alarm system, the Marquee over the main entrance on St. Clair Avenue and the stage front renovation.


I, Shelli Slapnik March, became president of Friends in 2006. During my term we have completed the parking lot expansion project, the renovation of the restrooms in the Kenik Annex and the expansion of the kitchen storage area.  We have realized many major accomplishments during these years and we recognize and honor the visionaries that have made the Slovenian National Home a reality as we celebrate our 100th anniversary.


The Trustees of Friends of the Slovenian National Home and the Board of Directors of the Slovenian National Home are a committed and dedicated group of individuals who work together for the continued preservation of this great hall for future generations. Friends, as always, welcomes your membership and donations and all the fundraising campaigns and events the Friends organization hosts generate revenue that is used for the repair, renovation, and maintenance of this historic facility. We are grateful for your support and generosity and interest in being a part of this realm of people who so proudly embrace their Slovenian heritage.

In friendship,


Shelli Slapnik March, President

Trustees of the Friends of Slovenian National Home, Inc.

President: Shelli Slapnik March; Vice President/Treasurer: Sharon Lenarcic; Secretary: Marilyn Cimperman; Patricia Ipavec Clark, Clare Godic Miller, Geraldine Hopkins, Robert Hopkins

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