The name of the woman who left $2 million for the arts center to be built attached to the Loft Theater at East Ridge High School was released at last night’s District 833 School Board meeting. She is Dorothy Merrill.
Merrill‘s donation may represent more than 80 percent of the construction funds.
Because of the large financial support from Dorothy Merrill, the arts center will finally become a reality.
As the biggest donor, Merrill certainly deserves the name recognition. When the arts center opens in October of 2011, it will be named the Dorothy K. Merrill Center for the Arts.
I called the woman “A hero in the community” in my blog posted on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
While we give the name recognition to Merrill, we can’t forget that there are more heroes behind the scene who have worked hard to make the arts center a reality.
Personally I don’t know anyone else who deserves more credit than Michelle Witte, Arts Connection vice president and fundraiser for the new 10,000 square-foot facility.
Witte is actively involved in the arts community in Woodbury. She is also Woodbury Community Theater president.
I first met Witte at her church, Woodbury Baptist Church where my kids went for VBS in the summer for a few years. Witte was the VBS director.
Since then I have read her letters to the editor in the Woodbury Bulletin and saw her name in the paper a few times in connection with the arts center. I was impressed by her passion for the arts, her active involvement in the community.
Now her fundraising efforts have paid off in a big way. Thanks largely to her hard work and great efforts, Woodbury will have a nice facility for the arts center.
I want to say to Michelle Witte, “Congratulations! Thanks for all you have done for the community. You are a hero in Woodbury!”