COLDWATER – Even through closure and a reduction in performances, Tibbits volunteers have continued to play a role and for March the theatre recognized Sylvia Johns as its volunteer of the month.
Johns first became involved with Tibbits in 2005. She has folded programs, helped with bulk mailings, distributed brochures, ushered for community and summer theatre shows, and has helped with beautification of the theatre as well.
Originally from Bronson, Sylvia married Larry Johns in 1966. She has lived in Coldwater for 54 years and also volunteered at the hospital, food pantry, and St. Charles church. She and Larry raised two boys, Kenneth and Kevin, and now she’s enjoying time with four grandsons and a great granddaughter.
She worked at TI Automotive for 32 years as shipping and receiving clerk and quality inspector. When she retired in 2002, she began her volunteerism. She loves working with flowers and gardening and making homemade strawberry and grape jelly using product from her own garden.
Johns has been in different theatres, but she says, “Tibbits is the most beautiful one I have seen. It may not be originally updated yet but it has come a long way since I have lived here. Everything takes time and money and I have loved seeing progress every year. I love all the people I volunteer with and have met a lot of nice people and we have fun. It makes you want to go back and as often as you can. I am glad we have people that do that to keep the theatre going.”
She continued, “When I volunteer at the theatre and meet people from different places it makes me feel good that people come from far and near to see the great plays and beautiful theatre. I always tell them to be sure and come back and enjoy more great plays that we will have. The best experience I can say is knowing that I am volunteering for a beautiful theatre that was saved from destruction and can now be enjoyed by everyone.”
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, Johns 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.