Letter to the Editor: Island Theater Company says ‘Thanks’

The 2nd Annual Children’s Christmas show presented by the Island Theater Company has come and gone and what a show it was! Pattie Ziesig, Jean Rowles and Pat Berry want to thank so many people who made this show such a huge success! We had 25 extremely talented young people from the ages of 5 through 15 join together to offer our community a little Christmas cheer through The Bethlehem Project … and the community responded in a way we have come to expect!

We are so thankful to our wonderful sponsor, Clausen Properties, for helping to make this show possible. Without the support of local businesses, like Clausen Properties, in the community, we would not be able to continue offering this wonderful show for free. We are also indebted to our partners, Christmas Island Style, the Marco Lutheran Church, the Island Dance Academy and the Marco Island Historical Society. Our dear friend, Craig Gruesel and the Lutheran Church went above and beyond the call of duty by not only hosting our rehearsals at the church, but also taking on our “Baby Angel Choir” … seven 5-year olds! They were well prepared because of his efforts and added more than just cute faces to our show! Natalie Strafford from the Island Dance Academy choreographed “Deck the Stalls” and brought so much joy and excitement to the stage. The Marco Island Historical Society hosted our shows while Christmas Island Style included us to the festivities and event calendar. We are so grateful for these new partnerships and look forward to many more opportunities of working together in the future. Thank you to all!

Each year we partner with a church to put on this wonderful production, and the proceeds are donated to a local charity of the church’s choosing. This year, Marco Lutheran Church allowed our performers to choose the charity. Through generous donations from each performance, we were able to donate over $2,000 to Tommie Barfield Elementary to help local families in need this Christmas season. Families displaced by Hurricane Sandy, and living with relatives in our community, will also benefit from the generosity of those who attended, truly beginning the Holiday Season in the best way.

Our favorite moments were the little stories that we heard after each show, like the young boy who came up to Miss Rowles and asked if she knew where the offering baskets were. She told the young man she would find them, and he gave his offering to her … 5 cents …. small change to most of us but given with a generous heart. Two women brought wrapped presents to put under the tree for the young children in need at Tommie Barfield. A generous donation of $100 in one offering just showed how much this community supports those in need.

Thank you to all those in our community that helped to make this performance a special time of the season…from sponsors to partners to volunteers to our amazing performers and their families … your sacrifice of time, talent and money will make a lasting impression. May you have a wonderful holiday season and may the hope of Christmas last through the year!

Many, many thanks.

The Island Theater Company

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