ZELIENOPLE (KDKA) – A generous gift is giving a small, local theater a big boost.
It’s the largest single donation in the history of the Strand Theater.
The historic Strand Theater on Main Street in Zelienople was built back in 1914.
It’s had its ups and downs and has gone through a lot of changes.
After more than two decades of darkness, the theater was renovated from top to bottom and reopened to the public in 2009.
Today, it continues to grow and it will expand even more, thanks to a generous donation.
“My knees went a little bit wobbly and I got a little bit overwhelmed because it was just such a generous gift,” Ron Carter with the Strand Theater Initiative said.
That gift was in the form of $100,000.
It was a check from someone who wants to stay out of the spotlight.
Carter serves as the President and Executive Director of the non-profit Strand Theater Initiative. He is the only person who knows where the money came from.
“This particular donor is aware of the Strand. They are aware of the vision that we have for a full cultural center here and just had the means to step up and make something as wonderful as this happen,” Carter said.
The entire donation has already gone to the next two phases of renovations at the theater, but there is still a long way to go. The non-profit still has to raise $6.4 million.
The project includes building a full stage house, a multi-purpose center, and a two-level parking deck.
Carter is hoping the recent gift acts as a springboard and encourages others to contribute.
“Certainly we welcome corporate support, we welcome philanthropy on any level, a $5 check goes right into the bank like a $100,000 check does. But, for this individual donor to put themselves out there in such a way, it truly is a blessing,” Carter said.