VENICE, FL-“Welcome to the ‘60s!” was the theme of Venice Theatre’s annual volunteer appreciation party held Sunday, May 4, 2014. Volunteer Coordinator Kim Kollar invited guests to tease up their hair or don their best tie-dyes for the annual event.
Nearly 500 volunteers enjoyed the party which kicked off with entertainment and an awards ceremony in the theatre’s MainStage. Executive/Artistic Director Murray Chase and Producing Director Allan Kollar presented more than a dozen awards (a list follows); 13 new members were inducted into the Hall of Fame for outstanding service and dedication over a period of at least 15 years; the Venice Theatre Guild established a new award; and nine graduating high school seniors were honored. Entertainment was provided by tap dancers from the “Silver Foxes” senior theatre troupe as well as volunteer performers from the 2013-2014 season productions of Hairspray, Radio Gals, Five Guys Named Moe, and How I Became a Pirate.
The Venice Theatre Guild established a new award this year called the “Guilda.” It will be presented annually to a young adult volunteer who has made significant and varied contributions to the theatre and has displayed a range of achievements on and off the stage over the course of several years. The “Guilda” is accompanied by a cash award of $1,000 in recognition of the recipient's commitments and voluntary service. Graduating high school senior, Timothy Polk, was the first to receive this award.
Each year the theatre gives away a theatre trip to New York City as a grand prize. Volunteers who have served 500 hours or more are eligible to win. This year’s recipient was Kathryn Killinger, a long-time volunteer and donor who accumulates her volunteer hours each year by performing in three of the theatre’s outreach programs: The Silver Foxes, Troupe in a Trunk, and the Loveland Follies.
After the awards ceremony, volunteers gathered under the big tent outside for dinner, dancing and fellowship. “Cuisine on Call” catered the dinner with a home-style feast of meatloaf, turkey, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies; Bobbi and Dave Eschenbach of “Steppin’ Out Entertainment” were the DJs, spinning a soundtrack of ‘60s hits that got folks of all ages up and dancing; and a host of local businesses donated items for the raffle. A groovy time was had by all.
Following is a complete list of this year’s awards and recipients
- The David Towne Award for exemplary service in the box office was given to Dawn Bombard.
- The Nancy Bloomquist Award for exemplary service in front-of-house management was given to Barbara and Hubert Willis.
- The Kathryn Killinger Award for distinguished service to Venice Theatre’s education mission was given to Carolyn Delk.
- The VT Teen Award for serving as an example of dynamic youth participation was given to Charlie Kollar
- The “Guilda”, accompanied by a cash gift of $1,000, was presented to Timothy Polk.
- Graduating Seniors: Kenzie Balliet, Noelle Oxboel, Katie Dunn-Rankin, Arianna DeCecco, Timothy Polk, Savannah Bradley, Mikal Mancini, Elizabeth Leone, and Rachael Henry
- The Chris Magee Technical Award for outstanding service in theatre production was given to Dave Mason for his work in the scenery department.
- The Joan Dillon Costume Shop Award was given to Sara Atz.
- The Joey Hodgini Award honoring a crew member who embodies the spirit of community theatre was given to Jeff Cochran.
- The Charles Finley Award honoring an actor who exemplifies the spirit of community theatre on and off stage was given to Jeremy Guerrero.
- The Bob Mosher “Unsung Hero” Award in recognition of a volunteer, whose contributions are important, but rarely seen, was given to Lisa Figueroa.
- The Bob Germain Award for making a “germain” impact on all stages of VT’s information technologies was given to Mark Richardson for his assistance in redesigning the theatre’s website.
- The 2014 President’s Award for exemplary display of performance above and beyond the call of duty in a single season in more than one aspect of the theatre was given to Earl Baumruck who is a member of the stage crew, president of the Venice Theatre Guild, and a director on the theatre’s board.
- The 2014 Alice & Squiffy Smith Award for volunteers whose lifetime service exemplifies VT’s mission and has been integral to the development of the theatre was given to the Pinkerton Family.
- Hall of Fame Inductees: Candace Artim, Marvin Schuman, Carolyn Boudreaux, Ed Boudreaux, Sue Brennan, Betty Bueter, Fran De Young, Tarah Hart, Neil Kasanofsky, Jim Lovett, Sharon Rugh, Maureen Young, and Eric Styren
Attached photos (Credit: Rhonda Sudik)
- Carolyn Delk with Kathryn Killinger, the volunteer for whom the education and outreach award is named
- Charlie Kollar with his VT Teen Award, proud dad Allan Kollar at podium in background
- Dave Mason receives the Chris Magee Technical Award from Venice Theatre’s Technical Director John Andzulis.
- Dawn Bombard was not in town for the awards ceremony, but accepted her David Towne Box Office Award via smart phone from Pennsylvania.
- Earl Baumruck was surprised and proud to receive the 2014 President’s Award.
- Lisa Figueroa (also named 2014 Sarasota County Teacher of the Year) accepted the Unsung Hero Award from Volunteer Coordinator Kim Kollar.
- Sara Atz receives the Joan Dillon Costume Shop Award from Resident Costumer/Shop Manager Stephanie Gift.
- Timothy Polk, center, was the first-ever recipient of the “Guilda.” Guild Treasurer Peter Sayer, left, and President Earl Baumruck presented Timothy with a $1,000 check.
- Graduating seniors on-hand to receive their recognition: Noelle Oxboel, Timothy Polk, Elizabeth Leone, Rachael Henry, and Mikal Mancini.
- Hall of Fame inductees present at the ceremony: Back row- Betty Bueter, Neil Kasanofsky, Carolyn Boudreaux, Ed Boudreaux, and Jim Lovett. Front row- Sharon Rugh, Fran De Young, Sue Brennan, Maureen Young, and Candace Artim.