Lights, camera, action!

Ron Goldfarb jokes that his company won $500,000 and donated it to the Ohio Library Council. But indirectly, The Glazen Creative Group is indeed responsible for a certain celebrity contribution.

Goldfarb, executive producer at the firm, put together a TV public service announcement for the council promoting Ohio’s libraries. The spot featured Cleveland native, comedian and sitcom star Drew Carey, who extols the virtues of the state’s libraries amid cascading images of books, rapid-fire editing and computer effects courtesy of Glazen’s video artists. It’s a pretty slick production for a traditional institution.

After the filming, Carey was so impressed with the commercial and the council that he agreed to waive his fee and later picked the council as his charity of choice on a celebrity edition of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Carey won $500,000 on the show for the Ohio Library Council — more than any other celebrity won for his or her charity.

It was the idea of Glazen owner Alan Glazen and Goldfarb to get Carey involved in the TV spot.

It’s not just the Ohio Library Council that has called on Glazen and its crew of video artists to help raise money and awareness for community organizations. Others include the Adoption Network, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence, Recovery Resources and Westhaven, a teen crisis shelter. In fact, half of Glazen’s clients are nonprofit or other community organizations, which often have limited budgets for marketing.

In some cases, Goldfarb and Glazen agree to produce the videos at no charge, but never skimp on quality just because they’re not getting paid.

“We always try to do something,” Goldfarb says. “We can’t always do what we want to do for everyone who asks us. Our focus is to do the most help for the people that have the least.”

Cleveland’s Providence House is one organization Goldfarb felt was in need of his firm’s services. Providence House shelters abused, neglected or abandoned infants, often from homes where their parents have been arrested. For the last 10 years, Glazen has created fund-raising videos for Providence House to show at its annual luncheon.

“Personally, I have a sensitivity toward things that involve kids,” says Goldfarb, a father of two. “Not only are they our most vulnerable citizens, but they’re the future of our society.”

For the last five years, the firm’s 12 employees have donated at least $100,000 in services, says owner Alan Glazen. The videos his team created have helped those organizations raise tens of millions of dollars. Thanks to its dedication to these groups, it has earned a 2001 Pillar Award for Community Service.

“If we could make a living doing only nonprofit work, we’d all like to do that,” Goldfarb says. “It gives our people a chance to work on something that they know is making a difference in people’s lives.” How to reach: Glazen Creative Group, (216) 241-7200

Morgan Lewis Jr. ([email protected]) is senior reporter at SBN Magazine.