Journal of the San Juan Islands


One for the record books

December 4, 2012 · 2:06 PM

Santa Claus, holiday gift bag in hand, is surrounded on stage by CATS members at the third annual Holiday Festival, San Juan Community Theatre’s biggest fundraiser of the year. / Contributed photo / San Juan Community Theatre

Auctions, raffles, donations, sponsorships and a fun-filled evening of music, song and dance, it all added up into a record night for San Juan Community Theatre and its biggest fundraiser of the year.

Roughly $112,000 was raised at the theatre’s third annual Holiday Festival, “Just Imagine”, which featured the return of celebrity auctioneer John Curley, host of Seattle’s Morning News, broadcast on KIRO-FM, and former front-man of King 5’s “Evening Magazine.

“We do think it is a record,” Jan Bollwinkel-Smith, theatre promotions coordinator, said of  the evening’s proceeds. “I just got the feeling, even though there’s that fiscal cliff, that people were ready to spend and donate a little more this year than maybe they were the last.”

The third annual Holiday Festival, which superseded the theatre’s former wintertime fundraiser, the Festival of Trees, also featured a wealth of local entertainment: music and dancing by island rockers, The Chameleons, musical performances by the theatre’s Susan Williams, accompanied by Keith Busha, as well as music by Lopez Island’s Hawk Arps, a vibes player, and the Lisa Duke Dancers, and a stage performance by Jill and Andy Urbach.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the Holiday Festival will be the theatre’s children’s drama programs.

Included in proceeds generated by the fundraiser is $26,000 earmarked for the theatre’s summer children’s program, a newly forged collaboration with Seattle Children’s Theatre that will bring drama instructors to the island to lead educational programs, training and workshops geared both for adults and for children in the dramatic arts.

With funding for the workshops in place, Bollwinkel-Smith said that the theatre expects that drama instructors from the Seattle theatre will be leading programs on the island sometime this summer.


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