COLDWATER – After relying heavily on volunteers to create the best patron experience possible during the busy professional summer theatre season, Tibbits has named their May, June and July volunteers of the month, including Penny Ireland, Ron & Madeline Smith, and Tim & Nedra Kingsbury; respectively.
Lifelong Fremont, Ind. resident Penny Ireland, Tibbits’ May Volunteer of the Month, first started volunteering at Tibbits around 7 years ago at the encouragement of a friend. She has since helped as an usher, greeter, gift shop attendant, and 50/50 seller.
“I love everything about Tibbits! It’s a wonderful old theater and the people are great,” Ireland said, continuing, “There isn’t anything I haven’t enjoyed watching at Tibbits and what a great variety of entertainment that is being offered in the community. The people in the surrounding communities should be taking advantage of this venue and more people should volunteer to help this theater succeed!”
When she’s not volunteering at Tibbits, Ireland loves to read, work on jigsaw puzzles, and spend time with her friends and family. She comes from a big family of 10 kids, plus she and her husband Kelyn have three children and five grandchildren, who keep her busy, too!
Tibbits’ June Volunteers of the Month are husband and wife team Ron and Madeline Smith. Madeline has been coming to Tibbits since the late 70s with her children and mother. Now, Ron and Madeline both usher plus Madeline helps with mailings.
Angola, Ind. residents, Madeline is the co-founder of the popular “Tom’s Donuts,” and Ron is a retired Army Sergeant Major and retired Bank Vice President. Madeline has three grown children and Ron has two grown children. Together they have 14 grand and great grandchildren. Madeline enjoys biking, dancing, knitting, and spending time with family. Ron is a professional singer and likes biking and reading. They are both actors and share a love of the theatre, which lead them to volunteer at Tibbits.
Tibbits’ July Volunteers of the Month are another husband and wife team, Nedra and Tim Kingsbury. Though Nedra was involved with Tibbits back in the late 1980s, the pair first became involved together with Tibbits in 2019 when they returned to the community and took part in a community theatre production. Now, they routinely tend bar for events.
Both Tim and Nedra grew up in Quincy. After graduation Tim spent many years living working and raising his children in Jackson MI, while Nedra lived in the Grand Rapids area. Finding their way to each other, they are now a blended family with two children each. Tim is a Union Rep with the UFCW Local 951 and Nedra is a claim representative handling Michigan Personal Injury Claims.
When they aren’t volunteering together, they love to travel, ride bikes, and spend time with friends and family, including their newest additions – two German Sheppard puppies. They also show rabbits all over the country together, continuing Tim’s hobby of showing/raising rabbits for over 40 years.
The Kingsburys love the friendships they have made volunteering and being involved with the community theatre.
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, each family will receive 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.