Goal is to order seats for DMS auditorium
The Second Act Project is striving to bring in $80,000 in donations by the end of the year to pay for 450 new seats for the Delano Middle School Auditorium, soon to be renamed the Delano Performing Arts Center.
As of Dec. 6, the day of a fundraising event for businesses, project volunteers, it had garnered $60,000 and sold sponsorships for 100 new seats — $20,000 to go.
The fundraiser took place in the old DMS auditorium, and prospective owners saw what it looks and sounds like after 38 years of wear and tear.
Ted May, organizer for Second Act, talked about the progress of his group in reaching its goal of paying for the entire auditorium renovation via donations. The first step is purchasing seats, and after that Second Act needs an additional $140,000 to pay for resurfacing the stage and adding new carpet, a new lighting system and a new sound system. May hoped the renovation would be completed by May.
Seat sponsorships are available for as little as $150 for one seat or as much as $3,000 for an entire row of seats. Monetary sponsorships cost anywhere from $25 to $1,000. Second Act will reward large donors with perks such as the best seats in the house and corporate logos in prominent spaces in the auditorium. Information on the Second Act Project and how to donate is available by visiting http://www.secondactdelano.org/sponsorship or calling Delano High School Principal Steve Heil or DHS Activities Director Mike Lindquist at 763-972-3365.
At the business fundraiser, the Delano High School jazz band and Sound Revolution vocal group performed on the old stage for prospective donors. Choral teacher Maria Vejdani said it was impossible for Sound Revolution to use the auditorium’s sound system. The group had to bring in a portable sound system in order to sound good for listeners that day.
“The new sound system will work for us,” she said. “We will be able to just come in, plug in our mics and go.”
Mark Davis, who volunteers for the auditorium restoration committee, has had to work with the old sound system. He is a production coordinator for SWTV, Channel 19, so this is part of his job. He said the current sound system was a good one when it was new. Now, “it’s flaky. Mics cut out in the middle of a performance.”
This past summer, Davis had a strange experience, as he was cable-casting the Delano Royalty coronation from the auditorium. The sound system was picking up a WCCO radio broadcast.
“I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from,” he said.
He added that this happens when weather conditions and humidity are just right.
“This is something that needs to be done,” said Principal Heil to prospective donors.
Brad Pappas introduced a video presentation and said that the auditorium opened in 1975 during the days of rotary phones, eight track tapes and turntables.
“A group said, ‘Wow, we can do something about the bad sound and lights,’” he said. “The kids don’t complain. They perform.”
He added that many things in the community revolve around the schools.
“That’s why this is so important,” he said.
Second Act is planning more fundraisers throughout the duration of the project, May said. A spring faculty variety show is a possibility.
Heil said he has been known to dance. He hadn’t decided whether he would pledge to do something outrageous once the fundraising goal is reached.
May commented that one principal for Delano Public Schools kissed a pig after students reached their reading goals.
Contact Susan Van Cleaf at [email protected]