Friday, February 7, 2014
NEW CASTLE, Pa.-- The volunteers and organizers behind an effort to restore the Historic Warner Cascade Theater in New Castle are celebrating the success of an online fundraising effort.
"It was a nail-biter right up to the end," said Jerry Kern, President of the Historic Warner Cascade Theatre. The non-profit group, which recently changed its name from the Warner Film Center, narrowly reached their goal of $23,126 in the final hours of their month-long Kickstarter fundraising campaign.
"For several weeks we were stalled at about the $2,999 level," Kern explained. "Then in the final week, our supporters rallied to our email and Facebook solicitations, and more than four dozen supporters from around the country pledged amounts ranging from $5 to $500 each. We hit our goal at 8:40 p.m., January 31, the last day of the campaign, with less than 10 hours to go."
Kickstarter is an internet-based fundraising program that specializes in small, generally non-profit, corporations. Many of the specialized groups support arts and historical programs on local levels.
Organizers say the Lawrence County Commissioners promised a "dollar-for-dollar" match, bringing the campaign total to slightly over $46,000.
"We have many people to thank, locally and nationally, for this much-needed cash injection," said former New Castle resident and Warner Project Development Trustee, Jack Oberleitner. "It takes us much closer to our larger goal of re-creating the Historic Warner Cascade Theatre located in the Cascade Riverplex Building at 18 S. Mill Street, downtown New Castle. We will be in contact with Eckles Architects soon to finalize construction plans. We expect hammers pounding and saws humming in the very near future."