Rotary holds pic­nic in park to ben­e­fit Mont­gomery Theater

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Amanda Pic­cir­illi

More than a dozen Har­leysville Rotary mem­bers vol­un­teered their time last Satur­day at Soud­er­ton Community Park in a fundrais­ing ef­fort to sup­port Mont­gomery Theater. Like a true Ro­tar­ian, each one said they were there be­cause they pro­vide “ser­vice over self.”

“This is why we’re Ro­tar­i­ans, it’s all about giv­ing and giv­ing to those in need,” said Ro­tar­ian mem­ber­ship chair­man and past Pres­i­dent Frank Ro­mano. “If we find a need in our re­gion, we’ll do what­ever pos­si­ble to fix it.”

Over the last six years, the Har­leysville Rotary has been sup­port­ing Mont­gomery Theater and their youth work­shops by do­nat­ing $1,000. This money helps as­sist nearly 100 youths who par­tic­i­pate in one or mul­ti­ple work­shops throughout the year.

Satur­day, Aug. 4 of­fered an op­por­tu­nity for the community to chip in as well, as the Rotary hosted its first pic­nic in the park high­lighted by a free pig roast catered by Towa­mencin-based Pigs and Gigs.

All of its fix­ings — mac­a­roni and cheese, potato salad, home­made gravy and BBQ sauce, bev­er­ages and hot dogs — were avail­able to eat to all who at­tended. A do­na­tion

was re­quested to sup­port the theater.

“[The Rotary] be­lieves in theater and our youth pro­gram,” said Mont­gomery Theater rtis­tic di­rec­tor and co­founder Tom nuinn. “Many of them have come to shows to sup­port us, some are even sea­son sub­scrip­tion hold­ers.”

Youth pro­grams at Mont­gomery Theater be­gan eight years ago called the Young Ac­tors Work­shop, also known as “YAW.” It was an af­ter-school pro­gram in the spring and fall, which later ex­panded into ad­di­tional sum­mer ses­sions in 2004.

“With the do­na­tions it con­tin­ues to give us the abil­ity to keep top-rated teach­ers, all of which all are cur­rent pro­fes­sional ac­tors with a teach­ing back­ground,” said nuinn. “Each has cre­den­tials, ex­pe­ri­ence and is not a washed-up has-been.”

Par­ents, grand­par­ents and chil­dren came to Soud­er­ton Park, hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to get their faces painted and take home bal­loon an­i­mals from clowns and look through a tele­scope at the sun and its sur­round­ing galax­ies, all while blues/rock group Low T, fea­tur­ing lo­cal web de­signer and ra­dio host John Ral­ston, pro­vided hours-worth of live mu­sic.

Sit­ting in the shade un­der the park’s pavilion, He­len Car­pen­ter, 73, of Lans­dale, drove to Soud­er­ton with her brother to sup­port the event af­ter read­ing about it in the news­pa­per.

“I like com­ing to the Sun­dae Concert Se­ries shows and I thought for the cause of the day it was well worth it to come up,” said she. “The food is good, the band is great, it was well worth it be­cause it’s go­ing to­ward some­thing good.”

The Rotary has hopes of mak­ing this an an­nual event, ul­ti­mately rais­ing $10,000 to fully pay for the youth’s en­tire work­shop. Dur­ing Satur­day’s event, the Rotary raised more than $1,000.

“One of your big­gest chalOHQJHS LS fiQDLQJ DRQRRS DQD money to sup­port out pro­grams,” said Mont­gomery Theater board mem­ber ChrisWLDQ 0RI­fiWW.

0RI­fiWW CRQWLQuHD WR H[SODLQ that state and fed­eral fund­ing has been com­pletely elim­i­nated from the theater for the past three years.

“The Penn­syl­va­nia Coun­sel of the Arts is still a pipe­line for us,” he said. “To see the Rotary has faith and be­lieves in us re­ally means a lot.”

To learn about Mont­gomery Theater’s youth pro­grams, visit www.mont­gomerythe­ater.org. To help as­sist the Har­leysville Rotary and its ef­forts, visit http://harleysvillero­tary.org.

Soud­er­ton In­de­pen­dent photo — DEBBY HIGH

Mem­bers of the Rotary Club of Har­leysville serve up food to help raise money for Mon­to­gomery Theater’s youth work­shops.

Artis­tic Di­rec­tor Tom Quinn shares in­for­ma­tion on Mont­gomery Theater’s youth work­shops.

Soud­er­ton In­de­pen­dent pho­tos — DEBBY HIGH

Low T plays Satur­day, Aug. 4 dur­ing the pic­nic in Soud­er­ton Community Park.

Jo­ce­lyn Hev­erly looks at the sun through the tele­scope at the pic­nic at Soud­er­ton Community Park Satur­day, Aug. 4.

Frank Ro­mano,

of the Rotary Club,

takes a glimpse of the sun, given by am­a­teur as­tronomer Vince Sheetz.

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