Archive for Thursday, August 4, 2011

LAC plans third-annual luau fundraiser

August 4, 2011

Two years ago, the Lumberyard Arts Center hosted a Hawaiian luau to raise money for the center, thinking the evening would be a one-time event.

But after the success of the first luau, the response from attendees was it was so much fun, the LAC should have the event again. As Diane Niehoff, who helps coordinate the event, said, “If those same people keep coming back, you know it’s a good deal.”

“It’s nice because in the evening, with a breeze blowing across that pond, it’s nice and comfortable and it’s a wonderful way to spend a summer evening with friends and we’ll have some tropical drinks and just a fun evening,” Niehoff said.

The people have been coming back for two years now, so the LAC is hosting the luau for the third time at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sunset Lake, 1625 N. 200 Rd. Tickets for the luau are $100 each. Tickets must be purchased in advance because the event will be catered, and an exact number of guests will be needed. The LAC, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce and Mid-America Bank are all selling tickets to the event.

“The tickets are not inexpensive because it’s a fundraiser,” Niehoff said. “But at the same time, they get a great value for their money because we’ll have a real Polynesian dinner. It’s a wonderful dinner. Some really special entertainment this year, we’re going to have a real hula dancer and wonderful music.”

Performing at this year’s luau will be the “Louisiana Street Band,” which includes Baldwin City resident Nate Deel.

The money raised at the event is not earmarked to go toward one specific area, but the plan is to use the money for general operations and utilities of the building, as well as to help finish the theater portion of the building. The LAC is completely self-supporting and does not receive tax money from the government, but runs on donation and volunteers.

Dave Hill, who is allowing the LAC to host the luau on his land, said he would like to see money raised to help finish the theater portion of the center, and he sees the value of a completed building to Baldwin City’s downtown area.

“It’s a great asset for downtown and it’s going to be the main anchor, it’s just so nice,” Hill said. “I just want to see it get done.”

Niehoff is hoping to sell at least 100 tickets for the event and said several members of the community have purchased tickets to support the LAC even if they are not able to attend.

“We’ve been very pleased with the support that we have gotten, like I said, from the repeat, returning people,” Niehoff said. “We just wish more people would get on the bandwagon. We’ve been pleased with the turnout we have had with the different functions here at the arts center, so we know that it’s something that the community enjoys and needs.”

Hill thinks people enjoy being able to socialize at a fundraiser where they are able to donate, but notes the summer weather could play a factor in attendance. He also said the LAC has done well to utilize the building, and potential still lies ahead once the theater portion is also complete.

“I think most people agree that we want and need the arts center finished and I think everybody wants to support it financially and mentally,” Hill said. “But I understand money is tight for a lot of people and I’m sure everybody is going to give the best they can.”

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