Ritz appeals to public in campaign

The Ritz Theatre announced Tuesday it is close to reaching the $1.5 million goal of a fundraising campaign that began more than a year ago. A kick-off rally took place at the theater prior to a Discovery Series event attended by 1,100 children in grades K-5.

The rally marked the start of the public phase of “Arts Alive.” To date, nearly $1.3 million has been pledged, and the campaign committee is reaching out the community for support in raising the remaining funds. The campaign is to provide long-range financial stability for the theater, including capital improvement, an endowment fund and business operations.

Michael Strong, executive director of The Ritz, opened the rally by welcoming the children to the historic 85-year-old theater.

“Events like this play a very important part of your education and fundraising events like ‘Arts Alive’ are what continues to make it possible,” Strong said.

Joining him on stage were campaign co-chairs Bill Reineke Jr. and Barbara Beinecke Spitler, as well as vice president Judy Miller, her friend, Shirley Ward, and Brian Cooper, president and treasurer of The Ritz board.

The rally included a proclamation from Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, who declared Tuesday to be Arts Alive Campaign Day in the city.

To make a pledge, stop at the box office, 30 S. Washington St., or call Strong at (419) 448-8544, ext. 14.