With their 2016 Season now launched the Port Stanley Festival Theatre is given a
moment to reflect on the past few months and the successes of 2015. One thing is
for certain, the generosity of the local businesses shines bright. From the 23 sponsors
who joined the Festival Theatre during their top attended season of 15,112 patrons
to the more than 75 volunteer ushers, the staff and board express their sincere
gratitude for everyone who contributed.
Director Simon Joynes shares that "community partnerships really are a cornerstone
of the organization. Just knowing that there are people out there willing to lend
a hand when the going gets tough is a huge morale boost."
Local merchants have always played an essential component to the non-profit theatre's
revenue generation, but several clothiers have gone above and beyond this year to
show their support. October 22nd the theatre and Apropos of Port Stanley hosted
their 5th Annual Seasonably Styled Fashion Show. Theatre Manager, Melissa Kempf,
reports "the event was a huge success and we are proud to announce we raised $7,213."
150 ladies and even a few gentlemen enjoyed the hottest fashions at Kettle Creek
Golf & Country Club. Lorraine McElroy is a truly special member of our community
and through her vision, dedication and energy has helped our theatre raise over
$24,904 in the past five years through her fashion shows," says Kempf.
Stepping forward as major supporters of the theatre, both Studio Style Apparel and
Accessories as well as Russell House Apparel created customized campaigns during
2015 tailored to giving back to their customers and the theatre. Through the month
of October Russell House launched their 'Expand the Experience' donation program
whereby any customer who donated $5 or more toward the expansion of the theatre
would receive a no tax benefit on their purchase and a chance to win a Russell House
gift certificate coupled with tickets to a performance at the theatre in 2016. The
funds collected through this campaign were then matched by Russell House and with
great response the owners of this local shop, Elizabeth and Cynthia DeWit, joyfully
presented the theatre's board of directors with a cheque for $1,210 at their recent
annual general meeting.
For the 2nd year in a row Kim Ariesen of Studio Style ran her 'support through sweaters'
campaign during the month of November. For every sweater purchased Ariesen devoted
$5 towards the general operations of the Festival Theatre. "It was wonderful to
hear of the success of this campaign. The customers of Studio Style jumped on board
with the purchase of 183 sweaters," reports Kempf. Christmas has come early for
the local professional theatre with a donation from Studio Style of $935.
In closing Joynes expresses, "thanks to all our supporters from near and far. At
this time of year, it's wonderful to see that the spirit of giving is alive and
well in Port Stanley, Ontario."