Share-a-Seat campaign to benefit community for years to come

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

For years to come, auditorium crowds will benefit from the giving spirit of the McCook community in 2005.

That was assured Monday night when the McCook City Council gave the go-ahead for the installation of the first 429 seats in the Share-a-Seat campaign spearheaded by Missy Nelson.

Starting from scratch in late August, the committee kept the faith despite a slow start in their fund-raising efforts. "Hurricane Katrina hit just after the drive began, so we didn't make much progress until mid-September," Missy said.

The seat campaign started rolling again during Heritage Days, and has stayed strong through October and November.

There's even hope that the total goal -- $45,390 for 534 seats -- will be reached in time.

"Money continues to come in every day," Missy said, which raises the possibility that enough money will be contributed to get a $2,500 matching grant from the Kiewit Foundation.

The Kiewit Foundation already has contributed $5,000 as a testament to the worthy nature of the project and the show of support by McCook citizens.

The funds will be used to purchase comfortable, contoured seating for the balcony in the McCook Memorial Auditorium.

The deadline is near. "We will be placing the order Nov. 30 so the seats can be installed during the first week in January," Missy said. However, the drive will continue until the project is complete.

The seats are needed to accommodate the crowds coming in late January for the Women's Winter Retreat sponsored by the women of the Evangelical Free Church. Always a big event, this year's retreat will feature national recording artist Kathy Troccoli as well as author Dee Brestin.

The auditorium seating project has been needed for years and talked about seriously throughout 2005. The project's success is a credit to Missy Nelson, the committee and community contributors.

Through their tireless efforts and generous gifts, McCook will benefit for years to come with comfortable auditorium seating. Others wishing to help may send their tax-deductible contributions to Share-a-Seat, c/o McCook Community Foundation, P.O. Box 626, McCook, NE 69001. Donors will be listed on a Recognition Wall in the balcony of the Memorial Auditorium.

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