Let’s start at the very beginning… (Julie Andrews taught me that this is always a good idea) A few years ago when the economic downturn started to affect the whole nation, money became tight for families, businesses and Non-Profit Organizations. While the theatre continued to produce Broadway quality productions under tight budgets, the audience was finding it hard to afford theatre. We knew we needed to act quickly and to rethink our fundraising efforts as we knew that contributions would also be affected by the economy. What was there to do?
The administration of the theatre turned to the Board of Directors for guidance through what we knew would be a hard time and started brainstorming new ways to fundraise… It was then that Krista Reszewski stepped up to the plate with a great idea… an idea that had never been tried by the theatre… an idea that just might work… a 5K fun run/walk.
Krista was not new to the theatre by any means. She visited the theatre when she was a student in high school thanks to her long-time subscriber parents. She again went to the theatre when she was in college attending Oakland University… AND she is the daughter of one of our Board Members. She knew the power of the theatre to educate, entertain and to inspire all that comes through its doors. What a great way to introduce people to the theatre by hosting a 5K and get the whole community involved… and that’s just what happened.
A committee was formed immediately to plan the first ever Feet for Seats event and volunteers started lining up to help. Many long days/nights went into the planning and we could start to see by the community’s excitement that this was going to be a great event. We knew that we needed to make this event something special… we needed to show of the arts and have a great time doing it.
Well Jill Jack came to the rescue. For those of you not familiar with Jill, she is one of the foremost singer/songwriters that Michigan has to offer (click her name in the previous sentence to visit her website). She donated a live performance and entertained all of the participants when they crossed the finish lines. Tables were set up by the entertainment stage so that people would encouraged to spend sometime watching the concert and enjoy the community experience. The Lion’s Club of Rochester donated a vending truck, GFS donated food and we served FREE food for the afternoon to all participants/volunteers. Also as a perk on the day of the event… participants could purchase tickets to the new season that day (one month before they went on sale to the general public).
After all was said and done, the first ever Feet for Seats was a qualified success! With approximately 80 volunteers and 300 Participants, corporate sponsorships and pledges from participants… the theatre raised around $18,000.
We were all very excited with the success of this new event and vowed that we would make it annual. We have made some fabulous changes this year that we know you will love! The Mike Duncan Band will perform as well as
The race this year will also be TIMED thanks to our friends at Hanson’s Running Shop
The committee is working feverishly to make this year’s event even better than last year’s… Now all we need is YOU!!!
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP TO PARTICIPATE OR VOLUNTEER YET???
There is still time. The 2nd annual Feet for Seats 5k Fun Run/Walk will be held, rain or shine, on August 21, 2011 at 9:00 am. Registration begins at 8:00 am. Come out and run/walk for the cause. Pre -register online to participate or volunteer at our website www.mbtheatre.com today! We want to make this year’s event even bigger than last year so tell all of your friends about it!
A donation of $25 will get you a commemorative race day shirt and even better… as Meadow Brook Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization… your donation is tax-deductible! Participants can also gather pledges for the race day by downloading your pledge form here. There are also prize levels for participants who gather pledges. Free Tickets, Back Stage Tours, a Walk on Role in Christmas Carol and more can be yours. (See all Prize Levels) Remember that while gathering pledges, you are an ambassabor of Meadow Brook Theatre. Be sure to thank them and tell everyone who donates that their donation is tax-deductible and that they are helping to ensure that Meadow Brook Theatre remains the cultural gem of Oakland County… most importantly thank YOU for helping us to remain Michigan’s largest producing professional theatre.
This year we are also proud to announce that Feet for Seats has also been endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. We can’t think of a better way to kick off our 45th Anniversary Season than a great community building event.
Bring the whole family and we’ll see you there!
~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director