Another theatre challenge comes off the planning board

48_llew-george-rob_2048YES, YOU CAN WIN $5,000  — From the left, Montana Senator Llew Jones explains how a group or an individual can win $5,000, to be given out at the June 2 Whoop-Up concert at the Orpheum Theatre. In the center is George Tornga, and next to him is State Representative and ITB Manager, Rob Cook.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

If one is good, two might be even better.

With that in mind, another group of people are putting up a challenge to raise funds for a needed digital projection delivery system for the Orpheum Theatre.

Readers will recall that the I-O recently ran a story about Stockman Bank issuing a community wide challenge with a $20,000 match.

Coming this fall, reel-to-reel movies will no longer be available. The Orpheum Theatre will have to close, unless a digital projection system is in place to show movies.

Now comes Llew Jones and friends.

Wednesday morning at the Home Café, a group of people listened to Jones as he explained his plan.

It works like this: Twenty folks are enlisted to each buy and sell five-$500 raffle tickets. From the raffle funds, there will be two $5,000 drawings that will be drawn at a concert at Whoop-Up in the theatre on June 2.

Jones said to the assembled group, “This shows the importance of the theatre and I am pleased that this group has stepped up to challenge and be challenged.”

The individuals selected commit fully to the $2,500 worth of tickets. They can either buy them themselves or sell them to others and this will ensure that the prize money is there.

Part of the plan had been to start this project right away with the first of the raffle tickets being sold getting a match for an anonymous donor of $5,000.

However, that match has already been met.

George Tornga, theatre manager commented, “I’m still blown away by this, I didn’t realize what I had gotten a hold of.”

He went on to add that a digital project unit was already on hold and a group is coming to view the projection booth to see what holes have to be made for the “new” equipment.

Raffle ticket sellers include Sen. Jones for Frontline Ag and Pure Bliss Cycle, Rep. Rob Cook for ITB and the courthouse, Cyndi Johnson for the courthouse, Ted Kronebusch PMC challenge, Mayor Wendy Judisch, city challenge, John McFarland, John Shevlin, Tammy VanDyke, Dr. Jay Taylor, Kit Finlayson, Gary Brown, Bill McKinley, Jr., Gerald Miller, Julie Murack, Helen Elliott, Jamey Byrnes, Skyler VanDyke, Joe Russell, school board challenge, Terry Diedrich, firemen challenge, and Judy Ellis.

Superintendent of School Craig Barringer said, “The schools are on board with fundraisers; PVS is selling hot chocolate and other buildings are raising funds.”

Helen Elliott, Pondera Arts Council President said, as Johnson gave her a check, “This is absolutely unreal, unbelievable. Come to the movies everyone!”

If you need more information, contact Jones at Pure Bliss Cycle, 278-7583.

Montana law allows a maximum raffle amount of $5,000.