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Arts Center Volunteers Brighten Season of Giving


The Community Arts Center Board of Directors received a big surprise at its regular meeting Dec. 18, when the proceedings were interrupted by representatives of the Arts Center’s 200-plus volunteer corps. The visitors brought along a check in the amount of $3,245.30, which represented a cumulative gift from a development initiative from the volunteers themselves, in support of the Arts Center’s “5.30 Campaign.”

“This is an incredible event,” said Dr. William J. Martin, Arts Center Board chairperson. “Far more than any amount of money, this unique body of people, who already give so much to the Arts Center through their donation of time, once again raises the bar of what it means to give service back to the community.”

Over 75 percent of the volunteer corps participated in the initiative, including some members who had retired from active status.

“The amount of the gift is really immaterial to me,” said Arts Center Executive Director Gram Slaton. “These are people who simply give and give and give to the Arts Center. To have them writing us a check, as well, goes far beyond any reasonable expectation we should have of them. As far as I’m concerned, they are the best volunteer corps to be found at any venue, anywhere.”

“The 5.30 Campaign” is the title for this year’s fund drive, and reflects the amount of one of the final gifts to the Capital Campaign that helped fund the conversion of the 1926 Capitol Theatre into the present Community Arts Center. Seven-year-old Laura Williams donated $5.30, the entire contents of her piggy bank, to the project. Now in her senior year of high school, Laura Williams is the honorary chairperson for “The 5.30 Campaign.”

Along with their check, the Arts Center’s volunteers supplied a booklet of well-wishes for the venue’s next 10 years.

“I have always considered being a part of the volunteers and the Community Arts Center such a privilege,” wrote longtime member Penny Covert. “Thanks for a great 10 years,” wrote Jackie and Geno Jacopetti, who have been with the Arts Center since day one.

The Arts Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary season. The Arts Center officially opened May 8, 1993. Since that time, it has featured nearly 500 performances and 1,300 movie screenings for close to 700,000 patrons.

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