By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Franklin Savings Bank Wednesday carried the capital campaign to finance the renovation and restoration of the Colonial Theatre a step nearer its goal of raising $2 million with a contribution of $100,000.
Ron Magoon, president and chief operating officer of the bank, said "This is a great community project and a great opportunity to restore what was a gem in its time to its original glory." He said that the reopening of the theater would be "very meaningful to the economic development of the city and the region."
Randy Eifert, chairman of the Belknap Economic Development Council, who toured the theater with Magoon, expressed his appreciation to the bank for its generosity. "What helps the communities we serve," Magoon said, "helps us, too."
The Belknap Economic Development Council is undertaking the capital campaign as one element of a $15 million financial package that includes grants and investments from both public and private sources. Although a relatively small share of the entire package, the capital campaign, which seeks $2 million contributions from local and regional business enterprises, civic organizations and private individuals is essential to the success of the project.
By partnering with the Cultural Arts Center of the Lakes Region, which is a registered charitable organization, the Belknap Economic Development Council can ensure that all contributions are deductible against federal taxes. Furthermore, plaques will be mounted in the foyer of the theater commemorate those making contributions of $500 or more.
Justin Slattery, executive director of the council, said the fundraising effort is gathering momentum with a growing number of pledges and donations. He expressed confidence that the campaign will reach its goal by December 1. He said that he expect to announce more major contributions in the coming weeks.
Ron Magoon, president and chief operating officer of Franklin Savings Bank, second from left, presents a $100,000 check toward the restoration of the Colonial Theatre to Randy Eifert, chairman of the Belknap Economic Council, to his right. They were joined, from Magoon's left, by Warren Clement and Laconia Mayor Ed Engler, members of the Colonial Theatre Project Fundraising Committee, and Allan Beetle, a director of the Belknap Economic Development Council. (Michael Kitch/Laconia Daily Sun)
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