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Amphitheater In Need Of Restoration

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Entertainment Venue Is 30 Years Old

The Davies Amphitheater will open its 30th Summer Season on Sunday, June 6, with a combined concert of the Glenwood Community Band and the Southwest Iowa Men’s Chorus.

Under the management of Gordon and Lori Woodrow, another full summer of family entertainment is scheduled.

Single admission prices remain the same as previous years - $5 for adults and $4 for students.

Gold Card Memberships are again available, with the price of a family membership remaining at $40, which admits an immediate family household to all performances.

New this year is the availability of a single Gold Card membership for $25.

“We have quite a few individuals who are in a single person household and we felt that an individual pass would offer them a fairer deal,” said Gordon Woodrow.

Letters for the membership drive will be going out in the next few days and will include the full summer schedule.

In 2006, the “Friends of the Davies Amphitheater” was initiated for the purpose of offering “opportunities for giving” to individuals and businesses.

“The program has been a wonderful success and we are hoping to increase membership for the 2010 season,” said Woodrow.

Noting that the Davies Amphitheater does not utilize tax dollars,Woodrow said the facility is in a “dire financial situation.” The bulk of the annual budget is supported by interest accrued from the monies in the Davies and Thomas estates.

After 30 years, the amphitheater is in immediate need of major restoration, Woodrow noted. The Davies Amphitheater Board of Directors has hired The Franks Design Group of Glenwood to lead the restoration project, which will begin phase one immediately following the summer season. The first phase will include the complete replacement of the roof and repair and replacement of some of the brickwork on the structure. Total cost of this phase will be between $100,000 and $120,000. Information about the restoration project will be on display throughout the summer at the amphitheater shows. In order to pay for the restoration, the board may be forced to borrow against the estate money.

“On the surface, this looks like a really good plan and a good deal, borrowing against the estate at zero interest,” Woodrow said. “However, reducing the principal of the estate also greatly reduces the interest income, which the amphitheater uses to operate.

“We could be forced to cut back on the number of performances we offer next summer unless we can come up with additional funds so that we don’t have to borrow against the estate. We also will need to pay back the money borrowed.”

Our patrons and businesses could really help us out this year by joining the “Friends of The Davies Amphitheater.” There are four levels available: Friend, for a donation of $100-$249, which includes one family Gold Card Membership; Patron, for a donation of $250-$499, which includes three family memberships; Benefactor, $500-$999, which includes four family memberships; and Angel, $1,000 or above, which includes five family memberships. It is a way for a business or individual to donate to

the amphitheater and at the same time receive Gold Card passes which they can make available to employees for shows or to simply donate to a family that may not be able to purchase a membership.

“We really hope we will be able to continue to provide great family entertainment at a low cost, but we are relying on our patrons to help us out. I really don’t believe that people realize just what a great deal we give them at the amphitheater,” Woodrow said. “For example, a few of our shows have no admission charge, but this season there are 13 shows that require an admission. If you had a family membership and you only counted two people in the household, and you came to every show, your admission price would be $1.54 each per show. More family members would make the amount even lower. We get quite a few people from the Omaha area out to our shows and they are always amazed that we only charge $5 for some of the same performances that they may have paid $20 to $30 to see elsewhere.”

For additional information, contact Woodrow at g.woodrow@mchsi.com or by phone at (402) 250-7281.