COLDWATER – Clemens Food Group offers a challenge to finalize the funding of the Tibbits Opera House boiler project.
While it has been nearly a year since Tibbits Opera House replaced its 50-year-old boilers, the effort to cover the expense has continued. Clemens Food Group has offered a gift which could finally wrap up the project. With its dedication to serving the community, Clemens has issued a challenge; the company will match every new donation made to Tibbits for the boiler fund up to $2500.
The old boilers were replaced with two high-efficiency natural gas boilers. The project also required repairs to the building in which the boilers are housed to protect the new equipment and improve the boilers' efficiency. The total project cost was $62,495. Funds raised over the past year have brought the theatre within $4900 of goal. If new donations match the challenge, the project will be fully paid for.
According to John Reininger from Clemens Food Group “We’re happy to support the theatre in this way. They’ve made a tremendous effort raising the funds for the project, hopefully this donation will inspire others to assist and will take care of the rest so Tibbits can focus on the other great things they are doing.”
Donations have been received from Coldwater Rotary Club, Coldwater Exchange Club, Kiwanis Club of Coldwater, Sunrise Rotary, The Smith Memorial Concert, Branch County Community Theatre, several private donors, Altrusa International of Branch County, and Quincy Rotary Club. Tibbits also received a rebate grant from Efficiency UNITED, and a capital improvement grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
As a nonprofit, Tibbits depends on community support. According to Delaney, “The challenge with a project of this scope is raising the necessary funds without impacting the annual giving.” She explained membership and events like the recent auction raise money for the everyday expenses of the historic theatre, but added, “If we were to use those funds for the boiler we would have a shortfall in other areas.”
Tibbits Opera House built in 1882 is owned and operated by the Tibbits Opera Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1962. Its mission is “to engage all in arts, culture, education and the preservation of the historic opera house.” To support the theatre’s general operations or specifically the boiler project, go online to Tibbits.org/support-tibbits/. Click the “Donate Now” button and type boiler in “other.” Donations may also be made at the Tibbits offices at 93 W. Chicago St., Coldwater 9-5 Mon. through Fri., or call 517.278.6029.