Playhouse in the Park was honored to be named Non-Profit of the Year at the 88th Annual Chamber of Commerce Business Celebration in late July. The award was sponsored by Independence Bank and was presented by the bank’s president, Heidi Shultz. In introducing the award, emcee Bob Valentine mentioned the theatre’s loss of nearly 40 years’ worth of costumes, props, and set items the previous year in a major downtown fire. Valentine went on to tell about the theatre’s involvement in The Penguin Project.
Angela Hatton, a board member for Playhouse in the Park, nominated the theatre for the award. She said, “2014 was a particularly difficult year, with a fire destroying Playhouse in the Park’s Farlands prop facility. Despite the hardships, the theatre put on new programs, reached bigger audiences, and brought in significant funding for needed capital improvements. Playhouse has reached thousands of people in its 40-year history, and has left a lasting mark on every single one of them. The Non-Profit of the Year award was very well deserved.”
Lisa Cope, Executive Director of the theatre, was completely surprised by the award. “I didn’t even know we were nominated! So, when Bob began to describe the winner, it took a few minutes before my brain realized that he was talking about us! ” Cope lays the success and longevity of the theatre squarely at the feet of the volunteers who give so selflessly of themselves, and the community which continues to support the theatre and its programs.
Another highlight of the evening was when Terry Little, a longtime volunteer for the theatre, was honored with the Citizen of the Year Award. Cope noted that it was quite an emotional evening. “I cried when we were given the non-profit award. And the icing on the cake was when Terry was named Citizen of the Year. Yes, I cried again. Such happy, happy tears!”