The Gilbert W. Perry Center for the Arts will host “Celebrate America and Support the Everett,” from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 28, to raise funds for The Everett Theatre.


    The Everett Theatre’s restoration fund will get a patriotic boost a week before Independence Day at The Gilbert W. Perry Center for the Arts on Friday, June 28.
    Donna Cavender, president of God’s Power & Light Co., will host “Celebrate America and Support the Everett,” from 5 to 9 p.m.
    GP&L will highlight the free event with two performances of the cantata “Land of the Free” at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
    Cavender said she had the idea for the group to perform the cantata before the ceiling at The Everett Theatre came down on March 15, which happened after the theatre group performed its Easter musical.
    “Our people are so gung-ho about singing and the Everett is always in need of more money to keep up with renovations so I thought we should do special fundraisers,” she said. “Before the performance, I went around to the cast members and said, ‘I’m thinking of doing this. What do you think?’ ”
    After March 15, Cavender knew she had to organize the cantata to help the historic theatre.
    The event will also feature the M.O.T. Jean Birch Senior Center line dancers, who will be decked out in their patriotic finery, and Bev Fawcett will play patriotic tunes on her flute.
    “It’s been great, the reaction I’ve had from folks who are going to perform,” Cavender said.
    She said there will be games for kids and a grab bag. Every child who attends will get a patriotic prize.
    There will be a bake sale with cakes, half cakes, brownies and cupcakes, and also a Chinese auction.
    Cavender said hot dogs, sodas, water and popcorn will be available for sale.
    She said she’s been broadcasting the event during her show on The New 94.7 FM WDSD radio station.
    “There will be something for everybody, and they’ll have a good time,” she said. “Admission is free, but we’ll be soliciting donations.
    “The Everett is such an integral part of the community with family movies and all the live shows,” Cavender said. “We want to get it back up and running and renovated so it’s even brighter than before.”

Future events
    Sandi Shane, director of advertising for the Everett, said $51,000 has been raised for the restoration to date through fundraisers and the bucket brigade, where volunteers stand along Main Street with buckets for donations from passersby. 
    “People have not hesitated to drop $5 or $20 into the buckets,” she said. “I’m truly surprised and pleased by the support.”
    Shane said $40,000 was raised at a recent fundraising event hosted by Dian Taylor.
    “The Everett Theatre wants thank the entire business community who provided food, flowers and support, and to friends who donated as well as friends who attended,” she said, “Because of your tremendous generosity and support of this wonderful event, it was a success.” 
    Shane said Associated Community Talents, Inc., the board which runs the Everett, has to raise $250,000 to match $250,000 from the building’s insurance.
    So far, the seats and debris have been removed, along with the plaster ceiling over the balcony because the A.C.T. wanted to prevent that from falling, too. Scaffolding is going up and a structural engineer and architect will assess how to rebuild the ceiling.
    There are several fundraisers planned for the “Save the Everett” Capital Campaign.
    For the month of July, La Dolce Vita Spa for Wellness on Main Street will donate $10 from every 1-hour massage or facial to the Everett.
    The Middletown Jaycees will host a beef and beer benefit for the Everett at Tom Foolery’s Restaurant & Bar on Saturday, July 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be dinner and live music with a DJ starting at 8 p.m.
    Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Email middletownjaycees@gmail.com for tickets or more information.
    True Light Productions is selling tickets for “Monty Phython’s Spamalot” at the DuPont Theatre in Wilmington for March 26, 2009. Of each $95 ticket, $25 will be donated to the Everett. Tickets must be purchased by July 30, by calling Cheryl Shields at (302) 602-1638.
    A raffle will be held for four tickets to the Broadway show “South Pacific” at the Lincoln Center in New York on Nov. 1. Tickets for that raffle will be $10 each for all four tickets to the show. Call 376-7818 or 378-1927 to purchase tickets for the raffle.
    Raffle tickets will be sold for a 2009 Chevrolet Equinox starting at the Middletown Historical Society’s Olde Tyme Peach Festival on Aug. 15. Tickets will be $20 each and the drawing will be at the Everett’s annual Frost & Fantasy dinner in January 2009.
    A $250 gasoline card will be raffled off in August, September and October starting at the Peach Festival. Tickets for the raffle will be $5.
    Also starting Aug. 15, The Gibby will hold an “Art from the Heart” silent auction. Pieces of 5-inch by 7-inch artwork on display in the gallery will be auctioned starting at $25. Final bidding will take place at the closing reception on Sept. 28. The Gibby is accepting submissions from artists for the auction.
     Shane said they’re also planning to perform “Damn Yankees” at The Baby Grand in Wilmington in October.
    “We had these shows planned at the Everett,” she said. “We’re hoping if the people in Wilmington see how great our shows are, they might travel down here to see them.”