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Wealthy Theatre officially reaches fundraising goal

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

With a closing gift by the Wege Foundation, Wealthy Theatre has met 100% of its goal for the Sustainability Campaign fundraising, thanks to overwhelming support from individuals and supporters.
Underwriting support from:

Thank you: supporters!

In our fundraising campaign, over 300 donations were made, most of which were $100 or less.

Wealthy Theatre received major support in its sustainability efforts from the following: Wege Foundation, Steve and Cindy Van Andel Foundation, Steelcase Foundation, Frey Foundation, Dick and Besty DeVos Foundation, Arts Council of Grand Rapids, Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation, West Michigan 100 Strong, Bank of America Foundation, Wheeler Family Foundations, Fred and Lena Meijer Foundation, Rockford Construction, Steelcase Inc., Meijer Inc., Irwin Seating, and the ACLU of West Michigan.

Last week, the Wege Foundation approved a grant request to complete the Wealthy Theatre Sustainabilty Campaign, which allows all construction and renovations to commence.

Beautification work in the back parking lot begins immediately, Wilson says, managed by Sustainability Campaign partner Rockford Construction.

"Thanks to the genorosity of many hundreds of community supporters, major donors, and this final gift from Mr. Wege, we reached the finish line and achieved our goal," says Erin Wilson, Director, Wealthy Theatre. "We did it."

The WT Sustainability Campaign funds energy-saving construction, solar panels, beautification, much-needed facade repairs, upgrades, and more, Wilson says.

Grand Rapids Communty Media Center (CMC) has owned and operated Wealthy Theatre since 2005, when city and communtiy leaders asked CMC in 2005 to reopen the historic venue. CMC opened it to the community to program with concerts, movies, speaking events, and much more.

"This place has been close to Mr. Wege's heart since his childhood, when he and his friend, Gordon Varneau, earned 25 cents an hour working as theatre ushers," Wilson says.

Many years later, in the 1990s, "Mr. Wege's dedication to this neighborhood continued, and he provided the spark for its grassroots revitalization," Wilson says. "Today, it's easy to see the brilliance of applying the principles of a healthy ecology to any environment, including an urban environment, because this place is alive, now, and vibrant."

Rockford Construction will be working inside and outside Wealthy Theatre through early June, when work is scheduled to finish, Wilson says. Upgrades and enhancements to the technical capacities at Wealthy Theatre will continue through the summer.

Wilson says theatre, along with Rockford Construction and Paradigm Design (architects) will provide regular, comprehensive updates on progress in The Rapidian - with "many pictures," Wilson added.

"An almost overwhelming number of people invested in the Sustainability Campaign, because they believed in it, and they believe in this place. We can't wait to show them, as we go, what that investment will accomplish for this community gathering space and the people who use it," Wilson says. "This is a very exciting time."

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