SHERBURN - Just as summer is gearing up, so is the Sherburn Area Task Force's fund-raising efforts for the Sherburn Theater. The good news is the task force already has reached a third of its goal.
"It feels like we just got started on our bigger efforts and we're already at $27,000," said task force member Stephanie Wohlhuter.
The goal is to raise $75,000 for a new digital projector needed to show movies. The task force also hopes to raise enough to make the theater 3-D compatible, and also to move the screen back in order to give create more stage room for live performances, such as plays and concerts.
Fund-raising began with a request for help from local businesses and organizations.
"We sent out the letter asking them to consider a tax-deductible donation," Wohlhuter said. "It did bring in a significant chunk, with a few businesses stepping forward in a significant way."
A saturation letter also was sent out to Welcome, Sherburn, Trimont and Dunnell zip codes.
"We received a lot of smaller donations, such as $25 to $50 dollars that quickly added up," Wohlhuter said.
The task force is now concentrating on two big fund-raisers. One is a beer- and wine-tasting scheduled for July 13.
"We have 15 vendors coming in," said Charlotte Cordes, a task force member who came up with the idea. "We have four homemade wines entered and four homemade beers. We also have two well-known wineries and five breweries and distributors that will be there."
The event is selling out quickly. Of 200 tickets, there are fewer than 40 available.
"We've had people from as far as the Cities purchase tickets and make plans to attend," Cordes said.
The beer- and wine-tasting will be 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Sherburn Legion. Tickets are available through task force members.
Another fundraiser is a raffle being held through Fox Lake Conservation League. Tickets are on sale for $25 at the theater, Bank Midwest of Sherburn, Jamboree Foods and Sherburn Nursery and Floral. The drawing will be Nov. 17.
"We're hoping that the evening will be our grand finale," Wohlhuter said. "There will be a special steak fry that evening too."
In addition to the task force's efforts, there have been smaller fund-raisers by other groups and businesses.
"We had penny wars at the school, so it got the kids involved," Wohlhuter said. "The Girl Scouts did a project ... Hawkins Chevrolet has a special now for anyone purchasing a pre-owned vehicle that if they mention the Sherburn Theater, they get $200 off and they donate $200 to the theater. They actually have sold three cars through this ... We're open to other groups wanting to help. The more groups willing, the better."
Those who want to donate directly can send checks to Bank Midwest in Sherburn. Checks must be made out to Region 9 Area Inc., with "Sherburn Theater" in the memo blank.
"We would like to say thank you to all the communities and businesses for the outpouring of support," Wohlhuter said. "We've had all sorts that have stepped up to help."