Thanks to your commitment to live theater and our students, last year’s annual appeal letter was wonderfully successful. We appreciate your generosity more than can be put into words! The combination of that generosity and our internal resourcefulness has enabled us to weather 2020.
Despite our prudent measures, finances are tight. No one could have anticipated the pandemic or its financial ramifications. We created a safer environment for our Steben’s kids by capping the number allowed in class and opening up additional, duplicate classes to accommodate overflow. We require temperature checks, masks and shields and employ social distancing. We are limiting ticket sales so our already intimate auditorium can accommodate a six feet distance between family groups. Despite these measures, enrollment is down only 15%, a testament to the enthusiasm our students have for Stebens Children’s Theatre participation. Of course, these steps have led to a reduction in tuition and ticket revenues so our main sources of earned income have been compromised.
Fortunately this year our lead gifters, Kevin and Teri Dear, have extended their traditional gift of $5,000 to be matched by Microsoft. Because of this gracious gesture, every dollar you give becomes three dollars. Be sure to inquire about your employer’s matching gift program. These money-multiplying programs can ensure your gift has a larger impact. Also, our local volunteer fundraisers ensure 100% of your donation goes directly to support North Iowa students.
In this time of dealing with the pandemic, Stebens is able to offer a live community, a creative and safe environment for our students. There is nothing like the fellowship, inspiration and joy of children who participate in the performing arts. Making those special experiences is our passion and mission. Help us continue offering those experiences.
Please consider making a generous year-end gift to Stebens Children’s Theatre and ensure these experiences continue to be available to our kids. We are grateful for any amount, but this year, in response to extraordinary circumstances, please consider increasing your donation. Thank you for your continued generosity and support of children and the arts and for being an important part of Stebens Children’s Theatre.