Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Donation to nexStage Theatre ups the ante

Express Staff Writer

The nexStage Theatre board of directors has drummed up and dreamed up several ways in which to save Ketchum's only indoor performing arts space. The theater's management and board are hoping to purchase the building from the current owner, the Mott Family Foundation.

A donor, on a matching basis, has pledged $150,000 to the capital campaign, which is a little more than halfway to its goal of $1.5 million.

"It's a local who wants to remain anonymous," said Bill Lowe, president of the nexStage board of directors. "This has to be matched by new funds, rather than pledges that have already come in. With this we'll be closer to the goal."

Outside of board gifts, it's the largest gift the organization has received. In order to receive this matching fund, donations must be made by March 31.

Donors can also buy stars for $50,000 apiece, and each will have his or her name and donation memorialized on a bronze star that would be installed in the sidewalk in front of the theater on Main Street, for a planned "Walk of Fame."

"We might do a smaller one for $25,000," said Kathy Wygle, the theater's managing director.

As well, the nexStage Theatre board and management are raffling thousands of dollars worth of jewelry as part of their fund-raising effort to purchase the theatre from its current owner.

The "nexStage Diamond Raffle" includes a 22-carat apricot gold and diamond necklace and earrings donated by New York City-based jewelers and Wood River Valley residents Susan Reinstein and Brian Ross.

Raffle tickets for the jewelry, valued at $5,500, are available for $100 through the end of March. Only 250 tickets will be sold.

For more information on the theater, or to donate, call 788-9124.

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