Theater fundraising tops $4K in first week....
In less than a week's time since announcing their push to raise $30,000 in 30 days, the Palace Theater is off to a good start.
The month-long effort kicked off Saturday night with a stand up comedy night that helped bring $1,000 for the group. Additional donations added another $3,600
"This was the first idea and first event in our effort and although we didn't have the attendance we'd have liked, we learned some dos and don'ts with respect to hosting events," said James Stewart, president of the theater board.
Since announcing last week that the theater group had a goal of raising $30,000 to pay for repairs and eventual replacement of the theater's projector, donations have already begun coming in jump starting the effort. In just a single week since announcing the goal, $4,600 has already been raised.
"We understand that this is a lofty goal, but we believe in this theater and the fact that its success is vital to our community," said Stewart. "We met Monday as a board and have taken the steps toward working on a more immediate fix to get the projector repaired but we have also identified several other ideas and ways to utilize the theater more effectively in providing entertainment for the community.
"We voted as a board on Monday to begin scheduling live music, comedy nights or other alternatives on the second weekend of each month. The public input we received about scheduling things like that was very positive and doing something one weekend a month is an opportunity to add some variety into our entertainment options."
Stewart said the board has also identified several other possible grant funding sources they will be applying to for monies to help in their efforts to re-open and improve the facilities.
"We have a list of at least four different significant projects beginning with the repair and or replacement of the projector," said Stewart. "Coupled with that, we are planning ahead to upgrade our rest rooms to commercial-grade pressure flush commodes which should help alleviate some of the plumbing problems we've had. We are also in the beginning stages of revamping our façade and replacing our sign with neon.
"In our discussions on Monday, the board also took steps to apply for some grant funding to help modify the lights and sound to facilitate easier setup and use of the stage for live performances.
"The start of this fund raising campaign has already gotten a lot of attention in the community, but what we need now is for folks to spread the word and start sending in donations.
"The goal is for us to make donating as easy as possible," said Stewart. "There has been a bit of a delay in getting the nonprofit status done with our Facebook page but hopefully it will be rectified soon. We want to maximize our donations and we realize that some entities take a percentage that's why we are doing all we can to make it easy and convenient."
As for the month of August, the theater board has also slated two other fundraising events to help them reach their goal. The next event will be a fish fry on Sunday, Aug. 22 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
The fish fry will be catered by Boondock's Restaurant and will be held on the downtown square (pending formal approval from the county commissioners). The fish fry will be by donation only and will be set up for drive thru convenience across the street from the theater.
Another live music event that is being arranged is being organized by Tracy Pitcox and the Heart of Texas Country Music Association. They will be bringing a gospel music band from Nashville to play a live performance on Sunday, Aug. 29 for a one-night performance.
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