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Fundraiser for Jem Theatre a huge success


Mon, Feb 27th, 2012
Posted in Harmony Features

Harmony’s Jem Theatre, the only movie theatre in Fillmore County, was recently forced to invest in a digital projector. A number of fundraisers have helped to put a dent in the tremendous cost of the new projector. Photo from Jem Theatre Facebook Page

Saturday, February 11, hundreds of people gathered at Wheelers in Harmony to help raise money to keep Fillmore County’s only theatre in business. The support from the community was huge, and the event raised $15,773.50.

Lynn Mensink, one of the organizers of the event, said there were 20 dart teams, and 26 beanbag teams for tournament games throughout the day. People donated food that was served all day, and a lot of money was raised in the silent and live auctions.

“It just kept going through the day,” said Mensink. She added that she was there from 9:30 a.m. on Saturday to 2:30 a.m. on Sunday. “It was a long day, but it was good.”

Some people came just to have a meal of BBQs, brats, cheesy potatoes, and numerous salads and baked goods. A lot of people stayed late to hear music from Karaoke Joe.

The Jem Theatre in Harmony was recently forced to purchase a digital projector in order to stay in business. The money that was raised at this event will go right to Michelle Haugerud to help pay for that projector.

According to Mensink, people donated everything from clocks to blankets, handmade items, quilts, a turkey fryer, health and beauty supplies, and Valentines baskets for the auctions. An anonymous donor donated a used car. Local businesses helped tremendously by donating items such as lawn mowers and chain saws.

“It was such a good day,” shared Mensink. “It was a positive experience. People were so supportive.”

The people who attended the event had a great time, and the organizers received a lot of compliments. Brian Fishbaugher, who also helped organize the event, raised enough money to get a cake smashed into his face.

The only fundraiser to make more money than this was one they held to raise money for Camp Jordana. The difference is, that one had funds matched by a financial services organization. There were no matching funds for the Jem Theatre.

“We’re pleased with the money,” said Mensink. “It was quite a happy surprise.”

Girl Scout groups were at the fundraiser selling cookies, and people who have home parties offered to donate profits from parties, so money is still coming in.

“We really want to thank all the businesses,” said Fishbaugher. “And also a huge thank you to Wheelers for donating the facility. It was a success because of the businesses and the people who attended.”

Mensink and Fishbaugher hope that what they’ve done will help Haugerud and the Jem Theatre.

“They’ve done a real public service for the community,” said Mensink. “That’s why we wanted to help.”

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