It is revitalization season in Pottstown and two local organizations teamed together to raise money to help advance the cause.
The Books and Brushes fundraiser thrived on community input.
“We did it as two local organizations that do a lot for the community,” said Julie Tonnessen, an organizer from the Gallery. “We have our own supporting bases and we thought we would get together to help each other. I think that people are more likely to support an event that helps more people.”
Over 130 people gathered at the Ballroom on High. The attendance pleased representatives of the Pottstown Regional Public Library and organizer, Sue Dolan.
“We are very happy with the turnout,” said Dolan. “A week ago we only sold 40 tickets.”
“It was an inexpensive event,” said Dolan. “Tickets were only $20 and instead of only going to one event supporting one organization, you are able to spend twenty dollars and support two organizations while having a really fun night.”
The community was not shy about chiming in to help these two organizations.
Station manager of WPAZ 1370, Ross Landy, volunteered to DJ for free at the event -- an act that not only benefited the beef and beer but also benefited his station.
“It is extremely important to support local organizations,” said Landy. “We are still working by way of word of mouth to get the word out that we are back. Any exposure in getting our name out is valuable.”
Supporting local organizations not only benefits the organizations, but it also supports the borough during a time of revitalization, Landy said.
“Take a look at what happened to Phoenixville during their revitalization movement,” he said. “It all hinges on arts and culture. The Tri-County Performing Arts Center, the Gallery and the library are all cornerstones in revitalization.”
Faryl Codispoti, owner of SwingKat Entertainment and the Ballroom on High, said his decision to help the two organizations was a no brainer.
“It is real important to me to help,” said Codispoti. “I’ve been living in Pottstown since 2004 and it has been a desire of mine to see the town come up. I don’t want to see people on the corner selling drugs.”
While the total amount of money raised will not be known for some time, Dolan is predicts a big outcome.
“We are hoping for a couple thousand dollars and we are going to split it,” said Dolan. “We had some donations are selling tickets for door prizes in addition to tickets in order to reach that amount.”
Both organizations will benefit immensely from whatever amount is raised.
“The money is very important to us,” said Tonnessen. “The Gallery is a small organization and we work on a small budget. This money will help us support our mission to promote the arts in Pottstown by doing after school programs, community events and providing scholarships.”
“This money is vital for the library,” said Dolan. “A lot of our money is federal funding and it has been cut and cut and cut. Somehow our programming continues and doesn’t cut. Through nights like tonight, the difference is made up. This money will go towards all of our free programming that we offer from infants to adults.”
8-16-11 - Editor's note: the spelling of Julie Tonnessen's name was corrected in this article.