Project at DMS has $200,000 fundraising goal
The 38-year-old Delano Middle School auditorium soon will undergo a transformation and take on a new name, the Delano Performing Arts Center. The name change will reflect the fact that the auditorium has served as a community resource, not just as a school resource.
But before this can happen, the Second Act Project needs to raise $200,000 to pay for the renovation. Second Act is making a major fundraising push by selling sponsorships of individual seats and rows of seats to people and businesses in the community.
As of Nov. 1, Second Act, a group of community volunteers, had received $40,573 from donations and other fundraising efforts. All funds for the restoration will come from community members and none from Delano Public Schools, according to Ted May, Second Act spokesperson.
“An important part of the restoration is replacement of the theater seats,” he said. “The old seats have served well and provided students and audiences a comfortable place to learn and be entertained. Since opening in 1975, the auditorium has served as a performance stage and a teaching station for generations of Delano students. The auditorium is now in need of restoration and updating.”
In addition to new seats, the renovations will include new lighting and sound systems and carpet as well as modifications to the stage. The lighting and sound systems are obsolete and do not provide the technical support required of contemporary drama and music productions, May said.
“Seat sponsorship is an opportunity to honor or remember someone special in the lives of the sponsors,” he said. “Maybe a daughter or son was a musician or actor who appeared on the stage. As the holiday season approaches, an inscribed seat in the new Delano Performing Arts Center would be a unique gift and tribute.”
Prospective donors can purchase seat sponsorships for as little as $25 or as much as $1,000 or more. The auditorium website at www.secondactdelano.org is one way to make a purchase. Another way is to contact Delano High School Principal Steve Heil or DHS Activities Director Mike Lindquist at 763-972-3365. The website, Heil and Lundquist also can provide information.
Second Act volunteers will be present at a number of events to offer information and sell sponsorships. Look for Second Act from Nov. 7-9 at performances of the fall play, the Dec. 3 seventh- and eighth-grade choir concert, the Dec. 5 fifth- and sixth-grade choir concert, the Dec. 7 Junior High One Act Festival, the Dec. 9 Jazz Band/Sound Revolution concert, the Dec. 16 seventh- and eighth-grade band concert, the Dec. 19 fifth- and sixth-grade band concert and varsity sporting events throughout the winter.
Band students, choir students and actors are also offering to donate their time to provide entertainment throughout the community to raise money for The Second Act project.
Each student will donate at least three hours of performance time to their community at no personal charge. Money is raised by support of family and friends to compensate for donation of each students’ talents.
For this service project, students will present family and friends with short descriptions of the project and describe how it affects them personally. Some students might talk about how the new sound system will make it possible for audiences to hear performers, how new lighting will make performers visible to audiences or how comfortable seats will make performances more enjoyable for audience members.
“The auditorium has been a genuine educational and community asset,” May said. “In addition to the artistic productions, the auditorium is used for large-group teaching, guest artists, queen coronations, business meetings, Girl Scout activities, dance competitions, regional contests and church services. Its extensive use over the years has resulted in wear and tear on these once-outstanding facilities.”
Compiled by Susan Van Cleaf (firstname.lastname@example.org)