Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oddfellows Playhouse Board works to Complete Pratt & Whitney Challenge

Oddfellows Playhouse Board works to Complete Pratt & Whitney Challenge

Oddfellows Playhouse Board of Directors is stepping into high gear in March to raise funds to complete a challenge first offered by Pratt & Whitney at last March’s Middletown Mayor’s Ball. At the event, Pratt & Whitney offered a matching challenge of $15,000 to support the youth theater.

Oddfellows has been directing new, first time donors and lapsed donors towards the challenge as a way to welcome them to give. To date, just over $10,100 in new dollars have been brought in to support the organization.

In March 2012, the Board of Directors is adding to the challenge. During “Oddfellows’ March Maddness” each member of the board is working to get $1,000 in additional donations in by the end of the month. “10 board members, $1,000 dollars each. That will close the gap and complete the challenge Pratt & Whitney set out to support the children at Oddfellows”, said Board Chair Michael Sciola. “We are trying to maximize Pratt & Whitney’s support by increasing our fundraising goals. This is a one month challenge. We need to complete it by the end of the month!”

“Pratt & Whitney has been an incredibly loyal supporter of Oddfellows Playhouse for a very long time. It was an incredible moment at the Mayor’s Ball last year when Heather [Summerer] and Riz [Rosario Rizzo] announced the $15,000 challenge. We have been working all year to put those challenge dollars to work and increase our fundraising” said Executive Director Matt Pugliese.

The winter of 2011 was a difficult one for the long-time Middletown arts organization. Having already suffered water damage from an ice-damn, the collapse of St. Aloysius Hall at 505 Main St. destroyed the Playhouse’s costume and prop inventory. The Mayor’s Ball and the Pratt & Whitney Challenge were just two of the many community wide efforts to help the children’s theater to weather the challenges.

Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street, Middletown. For more than 37 years Oddfellows Playhouse has been more than just a performing arts program. It aims to make a positive difference in the lives of 1,500 young people each year by using the arts as tools to build self-confidence, communication skills, a sense of responsibility, and an appreciation for the richness and diversity of the world in which we live.

Anyone interested in supporting the challenge can give to Oddfellows directly or through a member of the board of directors. Donations should indicate "Pratt & Whitney Challenge" in the memo.

For more information, to register for classes or to purchase tickets to performances, call Oddfellows at (860) 347-6143 or log onto

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