Putting the ‘fun’ in fundraising

  • By Dale Burrows For The Enterprise
  • Tuesday, January 5, 2010 9:45pm

They wined us, dined us and entertained us with pop music highlights from 1959 to now. You’d have thought they didn’t have a care in the world. Fact is, it was a fundraiser. They were asking for money without asking and making it fun for everybody.

I am referring to Everett Symphony’s “The Night BEFORE New Year’s Eve” Holiday Benefit last Thursday at Everett Performing Arts Center. Their actions spoke louder than words. They showed what they were up to.

The buzz was, the musicians and support staff volunteered their time, talent and the hors d’oeuvres; and local radio personality and guest host, Tom Dahlstrom, donated his fee.

The program laid out measures taken to reduce operating costs and endeavors ESO hopes to continue with: musical outreach programs into the community including schools and scholarships for deserving students, for example.

Then there was the thing ESO does, their stock in trade, the music they play: Styne/Bennett’s “Gypsy;” selections from the revolutionary “Hair;” and Chase’s “The Muppet Medley” and excerpts from “Evita.”

Also, “Miss Saigon” and “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” added momentum to the look back at where we came from. “The Wizard of Oz” called to mind our fundamental belief in anything is possible.

Hitting, perhaps closest to home, was the concert-concluding Jackson/Rosenhaus ”A Michael Jackson Spectacular.” “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” are hard to hear without feeling the harshness of life on the streets. Only a guy sensitive to it could put it together the way Jackson did.

The event drew to a close with conductor, Dr. Paul-Elliott Cobbs, leading all there through “Auld Lang Syne.”

This was a fundraiser. ESO had showed what they did, do and hope to do. Their message had been delivered with nothing left undone except the words.

“Don’t let this opportunity pass” was the best Dr. Cobbs could do by way of asking for money without asking. He was referring, ever so tactfully to the pledge of support he had called attention to inside the program.

Reactions? Comments? E-mail Dale Burrows at entfeatures@heraldnet.com or grayghost7@comcast.net.

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