HERO nears first theater goal

Just one week after holding a public meeting, a local organization has almost reached their first fundraising goal to purchase the Webster Theater.

Deb Brown, Webster City Chamber of Commerce Director and member of the organization’s planning committee, said many community members have quickly come out to support the project. Help Entertain and Restore Organization, HERO, is looking to raise $22,500 to purchase the Webster Theater and another $1,300 to complete the process of becoming a nonprofit.

Last Thursday, Brown told those who attended the public meeting that she was very confident HERO would be able to raise those funds by Jan. 31. Wells Fargo has committed to match half of the funds needed to purchase the building if the organization can reach their fundraising goal by the end of January. Brown said she knew the community would rally around the project.

To raise those funds, HERO has been selling seats. All 300 theater seats are available for $300 each. In exchange for purchasing a seat, Brown said donors will receive an aluminum ticket that will go on the back of the seat which can contain a message from the donor.

General tax deductible donations are also accepted. To donate, contact the Webster City Chamber of Commerce at 832-2564.

Once funds have been raised to purchase the theater, Brown said HERO is looking to raise $80,000 toward refurbishing the building. That includes maintenance and upgrading to a digital projector. In the near future, Brown said HERO will have a website and an “Indiegogo” campaign that will offer rewards to those who donate. Similar to crowdfunding website “Kickstarter,” the Indiegogo campaign will offer donors rewards such as tickets or popcorn when the theater opens.

After that, Brown said phase three of fundraising is to bring in one-year’s worth of operating expenses before the theater opens. She said that will allow them to get a head start and not have to worry about month-to-month income as they reopen the theater. However, Brown said that is an ideal goal and set their minimum goal to get half a year’s operating expenses.

For more, visit facebook.com/savethewebster.