2014 is off to a great start for the Grand Theater Foundation, says Dylan Morse, president of the Foundation. He says since the first of the year, the Foundation has brought in over $90,000 to be used for the renovation and reopening of Knoxville’s historic Grand Theater. Large contributions from the Knoxville Heritage Community Foundation ($15,000), Weiler Foundation ($25,000), and Mark and Jill (Fuerhoff) Oman ($50,000), in addition to the group’s regular fundraising and awareness efforts puts the total more than a quarter of the way toward the overall goal of $500,000.
Morse says “these three gifts – and the people who made them – represent the heart and soul of Knoxville and what continues to make us so special: a group of volunteers working together for the betterment of the community; a major Knoxville-based business whose growth and success we’re all so proud of and inspired by; and a Knoxville alum with fond memories of our Theater, and of growing up in our wonderful community.”
“Appreciative doesn’t begin to describe how we feel about the gifts we’ve been given. We’re so happy to be able to recognize our donors, and to partner with them through the journey of rebuilding a piece of Knoxville’s vibrant past, and promising future. The day we can ‘flip the switch’ on that big, beautiful marquee will be a brighter day for the entire community, and beyond…and we thank you all for your support.”
He continues: “Since our inception, the Grand Theater Foundation has raised $150,000 for our renovation efforts. Thanks to generous gifts of time and talent from community volunteers, the Theater has been largely gutted and made ready for contractors – electrical, heating/cooling, and plumbing – who hope to start yet this month! As work is completed on the Streetscape project (and additional money is raised) look for us to make major improvements to our building’s façade as well. Once renovations are completed, our community will have a fully functioning movie theater/opera house that showcases the best of today’s technology, with the character and appeal of the 1920’s and 30’s that will give folks in and around Knoxville another reason to stop Downtown for an evening.”