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Peoples Bank nears end of campaign with concerts

Livestreamed shows will wrap up fundraising effort

Photo submitted Sound and video are set up for the live stream concert of the Ohio Valley Opry.

The Peoples Bank Theatre will wrap up its 100 Days for 100 Years campaign this week with two concerts.

The first will be live streamed at 8 p.m. tonight and will feature Su Voycik-Meredith singing Judy Garland’s songbook with Jane Irvine accompanying.

“Su will be doing songs from throughout Judy Garland’s career,” said Hunt Brawley, theater executive director. “Su has been a prominent performer in our area for a long time. She has a great singing voice and is a great performer.”

The 100 Days for 100 Years campaign was designed to raise money for the theater’s operating expenses. Live streamed performances have been held since mid-June.

“We started early in June and we were trying to raise operational funds by October,” Brawley said. “We thought we’d be operational by September, but we’ll have to extend some things.”

He said they have cleared the performance calendar through the end of November and nothing is scheduled until the end of December.

The live streamed concert Saturday will be the last for the campaign.

“We’re thinking about continuing to do something,” he said. “We’ll have to make the decision of what to do in the future. We’re looking at a number of possibilities.”

Saturday’s 8 p.m. live streamed performance will be composed of Larry Groce, Todd Burge and Jess Baldwin.

“Jess will play piano and sing with Larry and Todd on guitar,” Brawley said. “Larry Groce has a pretty long resume and Todd has appeared on Mountain Stage more than 10 times.”

With each of the live streamed performances, viewers have the opportunity to donate to the fundraising campaign. The start of the campaign was a concert by local musician John Walsh. There was a peak of 95 viewers and $545 was raised.

The biggest number of peak viewers was for the Collin Raye concert, with 516 viewers. Although there were more people watching, only $510 was raised. The two concerts which provided the most in contributions were OYO, with $950, and Sadie Johnson with $920.

“The ones more local have local viewers with more support (for the theater),” said Gina Mace, marketing director.

They have been able to reschedule just about everything and even thought about holding events outdoors, but with COVID-19 numbers going up again, it wasn’t feasible.

Brawley said as long as the coronavirus hangs around, they will continue to roll back shows. Most of the entertainment industry is looking at closing things through the end of the year.

There are almost 100 events per year at the theater, including more than 40 major shows. More than a dozen major shows have already been rescheduled.

“We had big shows we were excited about,” Brawley noted.

The campaign only raised around $37,000 of the $100,000 goal. Brawley said they would get more into a fund raising mode to sustain the theater. They received Payment Protection money as well as grant funding.

“We did what was necessary to get to this point,” he added.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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