COLDWATER –Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council, Inc. received $5000 from the Coldwater Rotary Club to offset the costs of replacing the 50-year-old boilers in the historic Tibbits Opera House. The Club last year gave a gift of $3000 to the project.
While the new boilers were installed in time for last winter, the final piece of the project, painting the building that houses the boilers, was completed in July. The total project cost came in under budget at $62,494 but fundraising continues. After Rotary’s gift, Tibbits is $4,807 shy of goal.
Coldwater Rotary was the largest local contributor to the project. Donations were also received from Coldwater Exchange Club, Kiwanis Club of Coldwater, Sunrise Rotary, The Smith Memorial Concert, Branch County Community Theatre, Nancy Sprow, Wava Gano, Fran and Ray Breggar, Elaine Moore, Scott Meister, Deb Danielson and CA, Inc., Altrusa International of Branch County, Quincy Rotary Club, and several private donors. Tibbits received a capital improvement grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as a rebate grant from Efficiency UNITED.
According to Mike Beckwith, chair of Tibbits’ building committee, “We are thankful for all who have donated but also for the contractors – especially Aker and Bracy Jahr – who completed the work before the winter and while we were still fundraising. We appreciate that they understand the importance of Tibbits and were so willing to do their part.”
According to Tibbits Board President Rick Merrill, “We are fortunate to live in a giving, supportive community. Our local contractors put Tibbits first to make sure the show went on. We are extremely thankful for the support we’ve received from many of the area service clubs and others. Every gift makes an impact for the theatre and our community.”
Tibbits’ old boilers were replaced with two high-efficiency natural gas boilers. Repairs were made to the building in which the boilers are housed to protect the new equipment and improve the boilers' efficiency.
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, stop at the Tibbits offices at 93 W. Chicago St., Coldwater 9-5 Mon. through Fri., or call 517.278.6029.
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