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Fundraising Campaign Raised $60,000 for the Performing Arts Centre Lighting Upgrade

Updated: Sep 9, 2021 January 29, 2021 @4:45pm

The Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus (WEHSSC) Performing Arts Centre will have all new LED lighting this year thanks to a group of students, parents and community supporters. Darren Fleischhacker, Drama Teacher and Fine Arts Department Team Leader and parent Wendy Staal, explain how.

“It started with my desire to do Mamma Mia because we needed an upgrade to our sound and lighting system to do it well. Then a group of parents stepped up to be the fundraising team led by Wendy Staal and Danneilia Bradford, and I got to go along for the ride.” Darren Fleischhacker

Wendy Staal is the Raffle Chairperson, and at that time, she and Bradford talked to the Principal and took it out to the community. The raffle was done in collaboration with the Fine Arts Board, and was passed over to parents Michelle Wyness and Carla Collard. To raise more funds, Staal and Bradford distributed letters and and talked to SuperFluity, The Town, County and then they went to businesses. The raffle has raised money for wireless mics for the actors and three advanced LED lights that can dance and move around.

“We didn’t go in expecting this and when we went to Principal and wrote it out, we had a lot more fundraising to do and then the response was awesome.” I can’t say enough how outstanding the community response was.” Wendy Staal

The raffle and Fine Arts Board accounts for $31K of the total raised. Mamma Mia was a phenomenal hit and the timing was so amazing as a month after Mamma Mia, COVID hit. COVID didn’t completely shut down their fundraising efforts which also astounded Staal.

Presently they are short of the $70,000 goal, and the Rotary Club of Stetter is potentially going to donate with a response expected this August. This year the Clearview Public School Board approved allotting up to $10,000 to finish this project which they are grateful for.

Fleischhacker told us there’s an upcoming show in February and another show in May. All new LED lights are expected to be installed in time for the May show.

“We have been working on Little Women since the beginning of this school year and the play was supposed to happen at Christmas but then schools were shut down. We kept on rehearsing virtually during the shutdown. I’m very proud of this group.” Darren Fleischhacker

Little Women starts after the Family Day weekend on February 17. Bianca Brugman, who played Donna in Mamma Mia, is a huge Little Women fan and adapted the novel to the stage for the play.

There will be 6 performances with small groups of students and the 7th performance will be offered free by livestream to the public on February 20. Fleischhacker said that by the time they get to the 7th show that they are live streaming, the kids will know exactly what to film and give the best livestream performance possible.

Watch for the February 20th Little Women performance livestream link to be shared on the Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus and Facebook pages. If anyone wants to donate to the fundraising campaign or the arts program after seeing the play, contact Pat Hanson, Business Coordinator, Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus.

Jody Craig, Reporter


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