COLDWATER – For serving in a variety of volunteer positions at the historic theatre, husband and wife team Charlene and Mike Searing have been named Tibbits’ March Volunteers of the Month.
The Searings first started volunteering in 2017 with Tibbits Young Audiences, and then officially became Tibbits Opera House Volunteers in 2019. Since then, they’ve done everything from ushering, folding mailings, working the merchandise table, assisting in the box office, bartending, and even preparing meals for visiting artists.
Mike Searing is a Coldwater native and graduated from CHS in 1999. He then went on to Ferris State University where he received his Bachelors of Science degree in Hospitality Management. While at Ferris, Searing met Charlene who grew up in Northern Michigan and graduated from Reed City High School in 2001. Charlene earned her associated degree in general business and is a sole owner of Searing Mobile Safety, LLC, a mobile drug and alcohol testing company. Mike is the Food Service Director at Abbott Laboratories in Sturgis, Michigan. They were married in 2003, moved to Coldwater in 2007, and started their family in 2008. They have two children, Mackenzie 13, and Caiden 11.
The Searings have involved the whole family in Tibbits, with children Caiden and Mackenzie performing in Tibbits Young Audience productions as well as performances through Branch County Community Theatre.
The Searings said, “We love the opera house itself. It is such a beautiful, long-standing part of our community. Greeting people and sharing a little piece of history about this historic landmark has to be our favorite part of volunteering.”
They continued, “We stand amazed on how many volunteers it truly takes to make the operations run smoothly and in awe of how proud the community is of this beautiful piece of history.”
Tibbits staff chooses the Volunteer of the Month based on hours and/or service, as well as leadership, special skills or expertise shared. Criteria may be project specific or general support and volunteerism. In recognition of this award, the Searings received a $25 Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce Debit Card.
Tibbits is always looking for more volunteers in a variety of areas: ushering, working the gift shop or concessions, doing general office help, sorting archival materials, planting flowers, decorating the theatre, and much more. Those interested in volunteering should contact Tirsha Odisher at Tibbits at 517-278-6029 or boxoffice@Tibbits.org. Tibbits Opera House is located at 14 S. Hanchett Street, Coldwater, MI. www.Tibbits.org.