The recent Post Playhouse fundraiser was successful and profitable generating $6,100, according to Lacy Willey, Security First Bank vice president and Harrison branch president. The playhouse is a non-profit, self-sustaining entity, supported by a variety of in-kind donations from Chadron State College and Fort Robinson State Park.
Willey said Post Playhouse board members Marge Rotherham and Berdine Maginnis approached Security First Bank about a year ago for assistance with sound and lighting to replace borrowed equipment and upgrade aging equipment. “The bank recognizes the impact of the Post Playhouse upon our local economy - tourism, travel, food and lodging. We agreed to make a $5,000 donation but we wanted to see a match,” Willey said.
Willey became a Post Playhouse board member and as former member of the Morrill Rotary Club, she recalled one of their successful fundraising approaches. The group acquired a lottery license from the state of Nebraska and proceeded to work with Artist Director of the playhouse, Tom Ossowski in printing the tickets. Rotherham said, “It was a lot of fun. The entire Post Playhouse board got on board, got involved, worked together and worked hard.” They sold 200 tickets at $100 each before the March 16 event hosted in the Buffalo Soldiers barracks, donated for the occasion by Fort Robinson.
Each ticket sold was given an encrypted code which matched a plastic duck in a pond at the event. The grand prize winner of $10,000 winner was Joe Nunn of Harrison, Neb. Shirley and Lloyd Reed of Creekside Bed and Breakfast south of Crawford, Jeff Chamberlain and Kennedy Landscaping donated back their prize money for a total of $1,300. Other ticket holders won smaller amounts.
“Everybody had a great time. I couldn't be more tickled. We knew wanted an early spring event. St. Patty's Day worked out really well. It has been very gratifying. I think we are willing to do it again. We all feel like it was worth the time and effort,” Willey said.
She added,” Body microphones, amplifiers, and other needed equipment will now be able to be purchased in time for this year's season. The community is supportive making us able to continue to present world-class productions. We are so pleased to have Broadway quality plays in western Nebraska.”
Ossowski said, “We've done fundraisers in the past but this one sure turned out to be a lot of fun. What a great group of people. Thanks to them for helping us replace our failing lighting system. We couldn't do it without everyone's help. We have an amazing season coming up and some outstanding talent once again, so we hope to ‘see you at the theatre’.”
Mike and Linda Kesselring, owners and operators of the High Plains Homestead and Drifters Cookshack north of Crawford catered appetizers and meal for 130 attendees, estimated at a $1,500 in-kind donation. Wallace Selby provided music for the event. Former Post Playhouse board member Vickie Wasserburger volunteered along with Willey and Rotherham as emcees for the event.
—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator