Amphitheatre Fundraising a Community Effort

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The St. Maries Rotary Club has released a drawing of the community amphitheatre proposed to be built in city park next year.

Several copies of the sketch will be placed throughout town including the Chamber of Commerce, City Hall and several of the banks.

Chris Renaldo, a member of the St. Maries Rotary Club, holds a drawing of the proposed St. Maries Community Amphitheatre that the club is helping to fundraise for the construction of. The club is hoping to get other community groups involved in the project this year.

Chris Renaldo, a member of the St. Maries Rotary Club, holds a drawing of the proposed St. Maries Community Amphitheatre that the club is helping to fundraise for the construction of. The club is hoping to get other community groups involved in the project this year.

With a request from the Paul Bunyan Days Committee and $4,500 in seed money, local Rotarians took on the task of fundraising for a community building to be built in the upper portion of city park.

The 50′ wide by 40′ deep structure will include a stage, multipurpose room, handicap access ramp and be wired for sound.
The project is estimated to cost $130,000, but the fundraising goal is $150,000. Including cash and in-kind donations of labor and materials.

“We have about $75,000,” Rotarian Chris Renaldo said. “If we are able to reach our goal we will be able to put a sound system in the building and purchase 100 chairs to stow underneath the stage, which would be nice for people who wish to use the amphitheatre not to have to transport a ton of chairs to the park.”

Planning for the project began in 2011, and fundraising started the following year. The group took a hiatus from fundraising last year in order to allow the community to give their full attention to fundraising for the new Benewah County VeteranĂ­s Memorial. Since the memorial has been completed, fundraising has resumed.

Timber Plus is working on obtaining grant money for the project.

“We are expecting to receive a $5,000 grant from Avista and something from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, who helped us with the playground,” Mr. Renaldo said.

The club’s next goal is to involve more community groups in the project.

“We don’t think people really have any idea what this is going to look like or what it is for,” Mr. Renaldo said.

Rotarians have approached several community groups looking for those willing to organize a fundraiser to support the project.

“It makes our grant applications better when grantees see multiple groups working together,” he explained. “It’s just a matter of getting other groups on board. At this point we haven’t approached any businesses or people for individual donations. We are trying to do this without going door to door. Our local businesses already give a lot to this community.”

The building will be a multi-functional facility that will provide a place for various events, especially for performing arts.

The club expects construction on the building to begin just after baseball season next year and be ready by Paul Bunyan Days.

“It is a community project, not a Rotary project,” Mr. Renaldo said. “We want to involve the entire community in helping to raise money to support the construction of the building. Just like the playground, the city will construct and own the building. The Rotary Club is just organizing the fundraising.”

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