GUEST COMMENTARY: Volunteers pitch in to help Grand Old Lady

2013-02-19T00:00:00Z 2013-11-02T20:32:06Z GUEST COMMENTARY: Volunteers pitch in to help Grand Old LadyBy Martha Wheeler
February 19, 2013 12:00 am  • 

If you have never volunteered to work on a project, I would encourage you to read on!

The Court House on Crown Point's square is often referred to as the “Grand Old Lady." After experiencing the past two events in the Maki Ballroom, I’m sure, if she could speak, she would say, “A thousand thanks to all of the volunteers who helped produce the dinner/theatre production 'Frozen Stiff.'"

The historical, hysterical play was held in the Maki Ballroom of the Court House on Crown Point's square and was based upon an actual event that took place at Cedar Lake 100 years ago. It was written, produced and directed by Marion Kellum, retired art and drama teacher at Crown Point High School. It was done as a fundraiser for the care and maintenance of the Court House and is a perfect example of volunteerism!

In two weekends – one the end of last year and one in February 2013 – the Court House entertained nearly 1,000 people. The cast of locals included several retired teachers, a Crown Point council woman, a mother of seven children, a returning veteran from the Iraq War, a banker, three high school students and a retired helicopter pilot. Mayor David Uran along with past mayors Dan Klein and Jim Forsythe played cameo roles in the play.

The board of directors and spouses of the Lake Court House Foundation became waiters, greeters, cooks, dishwashers and cleaner-uppers! Sound and lighting was produced by Tom Donovan of Tri-Electronics with Jim Forsythe furnishing musical background with his three piece country band. All volunteers!

The Crown Point High School loaned costumes and equipment, and Key Club Sponsor Andrew Shih provided a dozen wonderful volunteers who assisted with greeting, serving and clean up. They were delightful young people, full of fun and energy, learning how to donate time for worthwhile events. Jenny Burgess from the city parks department assisted with the delivery of a stage. Volunteers!

Brenda Wright and Strack & Van Till provided the main course of old fashioned food with special donations from Teibels, Costco, Jewel and Bronco’s. Pat Korcha and Nancy Guillemette decorated the beautiful Maki Ballroom making table arrangements. They also managed ticket sales and seating. Some volunteers wore clothes depicting the year 1912.

Fred Laud, owner of Carriage Court, loaned the dinner dishes and silverware, washed and sanitized them after each event and brought them back to us. What an amazing volunteer! Board member Dave Bryan donated beer from the Crown Brewery. Crown Rentals owner Rich Bieker helped with equipment.

Rose Kellum and Nancy Briggs presided over the kitchen with their committee consisting of Joanne Gruber, Patti Beckman and Carol Drasga, and table wine was provided by Bruce Woods, director of the Lake County Historical Museum. Volunteers!

And last but not least was the participation of the public. They had a grand time.

The Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation will match the play’s ticket sales, creating funding for our spectacular Court House for future generations.

The fiber that holds communities together is the level of involvement by the public and volunteerism is essential to a vibrant society. What took place here was truly remarkable.

Martha Wheeler is president of the Lake Court House Foundation Inc. The opinions are the writer's.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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