SHERBURN - The grand finale for Sherburn Theater fund-raising will be next weekend.
Since March, Sherburn Area Task Force has led fund-raising efforts to buy a digital projector. The last event next Saturday, Nov. 17, is expected to help hit the goal of $75,000.
"We've had a lot of community support," said Cindy Fjord of the task force. "It hasn't been just our community, but the entire area. A lot of businesses, individuals and organizations have come forward to help."
Because all films will be released in digital form beginning next year, movie theaters all across the country have been upgrading their projectors.
"We get people from Fairmont and other areas coming to the theater," Fjord said. "The low ticket prices we have, where $5 gets you in and you can still get a pop. Our benefit is that the building is city-owned and that's been a positive factor and can keep the prices down."
The Nov. 17 event includes the monthly steak fry at the American Legion, and a drawing for the long-running Fox Lake Conservation raffle.
"They're all highlights," said Dorothy Behne, as she describes the raffle prizes. "There's the 50-inch TV, a snowblower, a lawnmower, an iPad, a Kindle Fire and also two $1,000 cash prizes and two $500 cash prizes."
Since beginning the fund-raising, the task force held a beer- and wine-tasting event in July, along with a murder-mystery event and a "flamingo fund-raiser." Several businesses began their own fund-raisers by offering discounts or deals that would benefit the theater.
"We had a number of businesses with a variety of donations," Behne said. "We had farmers making donations from their harvests."
"We are very close to our goal, and by the end, we should easily have the money," Fjord said.
Because so many theaters are making the upgrade, the theater needed to order early in order to have everything ready by the time the film industry's conversion takes place.
"We ordered in mid-October," Fjord said. "There was a long waiting list, and the company was willing to wait for the full amount to the end of our fund-raising. It also helped that we were backed by the city,"
The arrival of equipment as well as installation is expected to occur within the next few weeks.
"There are still a few little details we need to deal with," Fjord said. "We're also going to have a roll-up screen so the stage has more room and will be more available for school plays and concerts."
"Part of that was already in the budget and the city agreed to do that construction," Behne said. "We would like to see the theater be used for more venues."
But the most uplifting part has been the larger-than-expected support received.
"People have been generous," Fjord said. "There are people who donated who say they remember going to the theater as a kid, and their kids may not even live here anymore, but they like bringing their grandkids when they're in town ... We've really been pleasantly surprised.