Marquee fundraiser set

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 2, 2008

While final preparations are made for the grant-assistedrenovation of the Haven’s façade, the Brookhaven Little TheatreBoard of Directors is turning to concerned citizens across the cityfor help in rebuilding the theater’s crown jewel – the sign andmarquee.

The board is seeking to raise $50,000 locally during July tomatch with existing funds to completely restore the sign with neonlighting and renovate the marquee.

“We want to include the sign and marquee when we redo the front ofthe building,” said board vice president Sha Walker. “We are in thethroes of trying to raise what we need, and we’re well on our wayto achieving our goal. We’re asking the community to help us withthis part of the project.”

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Walker said the cost of renovating the sign and marquee isestimated at $63,000. Funds left over from the board’s commitmentto Phase Two – the restoration of the theater’s façade – will bematched with the targeted $50,000. Walker said the installation ofthe restored sign and marquee, along with the completion of PhaseTwo, would put the finishing touches on the exterior of thetheater.

“It’s coming,” he said. “Work is fixing to begin and it’s gonnalook good – something the city can be proud of.”

Save the Haven Committee Chairwoman JoAnna Sproles said the boardand committee are “full throttle” into fundraising toward restoringthe sign and marquee. She said the planned deadline for raising themoney is July 31.

“If there was ever a time to give to the Haven, it is this month,”she said. “This is our big push.”

Sproles said the seeking of donations will be accompanied by thesale of fall season tickets to theater performances and amembership drive, but the donations would serve as the primarymeans of gathering money for the sign and marquee restoration.

She called upon anyone who has memories of attending performancesin the Haven to write “that nostalgic check.”

“This donation is your, ‘Boy, that building means something to me,’donation; or your, ‘I remember seeing movies there in the summer,’donation; or your ‘I got my first kiss in the balcony at theHaven,’ donation,” Sproles explained. “If you have any of thosememories about going to the Haven or being downtown, now it is thetime to help us. The amount of the check should relate to how goodthe kiss was.”

Since Brookhaven Little Theatre is a non-profit organization,donations are tax deductible, Sproles said. Checks should bewritten out to Brookhaven Little Theatre and addressed to thatorganization at P.O. Box 943 in Brookhaven at area code 39602.

“This is not just a downtown building, it’s an iconic building,”Sproles said. “If anyone has a soft spot for that, this is the timeto write that check.”

For more information, interested people may visit the theater’s Website at Anyone interested injoining the Save the Haven Committee may call (601) 833-2591 forfurther information. The committee will begin meeting thismonth