Lifestyle

The Fine Art of Fund Raising

Bainbridge Chorale and Ovation! Musical Theatre offer fund raisers Saturday.  - Connie Mears/Digital Composition
Bainbridge Chorale and Ovation! Musical Theatre offer fund raisers Saturday.
— image credit: Connie Mears/Digital Composition

Ironically, cuts in funding to the arts are forcing Bainbridge Islanders to be even more creative – in their fund raising, that is.

After 40 years, Bainbridge Chorale is doing its very first fund raiser.

“We are fund-raising like crazy,” said Stephanie Harris, chair of the six-person committee that is organizing “Feast for the Senses” Saturday night at San Carlos. “There are at least 50 people with their backs to the wheel for this.”

All this in preparation for Bainbridge Chorale’s spring concert, Rhythms of Life” April 10-11.

Another nonprofit, Ovation! Musical Theatre Bainbridge, is certainly no stranger to fundraising. The group started on a shoe-string budget in 2003 after netting $600 from a day of face-painting at the Grand Old Fourth celebration.

“We’re not as hard hit,” saids Marijane Milton, Ovation!’s publicity volunteer. “We don’t have employees; we don’t rent a building. We operate like a touring company.”

One licensed musical, such as the recent Fiddler on the Roof or Pirates of Penzance, costs in the neighborhood of $30,000 to produce, and Ovation! puts on two such shows a year. Of its $80,000 annual budget, only $4,000 of that came from city funds this year.

As luck would have it, they picked the same night as the Bainbridge Chorale to resurrect their Saturday Night Safari fund raiser.

“We co-produce Community Caroling with Bainbridge Chorale,” Milton said of the two group’s cooperative spirit.

To reduce such occurences in the future Ellen Bush at the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council is compling a master calendar of events for cross-planning.

The nonprofit KiDiMu is into the homestretch on its long capital campaign which started in January 2008. By October 2008, it had raised almost 1.8 million before the bottom dropped out on the economy, said Cheryl Dale, capital campaign chairperson.

With about $345,000 left to raise, Executive Director Susan Sivitz is hoping the community will rally again for the final push toward an early June opening.

The museum is offering tiles with donors’ children’s handprints for $250 that will go in the museum’s interior and a donor wall will have engraved names of $1,000-level donors. Businesses donating $500 will have their logo imprinted on the pavers.

KiDiMu welcomes all kinds of contributions, not just cash.

“When the budget shrinks, the opportunity for volunteer help increases,” Sivitz said.

Local service groups, such as Kiwanis and Rotary have stepped up to help with painting.

“It’s not often you get the opportunity to be part of something that will have such a postive impact on the community,” Dale said.

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