At the end of its fundraising telethon Saturday night, the Fulton Theatre had raised more than $330,000, and one of its staff members was getting his head shaved as part of a fundraising challenge.
Jeffrey Coon, the Fulton's annual fund and foundation manager and one of the hosts of the telethon, announced the final fundraising total for the "This is Our Home" campaign: $331,841.59.
Funds were raised through individual donations, matching-fund challenges, a silent auction and a donation from the Fulton Board of Directors. A donation website, fulton.givesmart.com, had already been collecting donations for about the past three weeks.
Marc Robin, the theater’s executive artistic producer. announced last month that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fulton will not return with main-stage shows until late April or early May of 2021. The theater was forced to close in mid-March, in the middle of its run of the musical "Kinky Boots," because of the pandemic.
The theater, Robin said, needs funds coming in to keep the theater running until it can reopen to the public.
Saturday night's telethon was hosted by Coon, Robin, WGAL anchors Lori Burkholder and Brian Roche, Fulton donor relations director Nicole Hackmann and popular Fulton actors Curt Dale Clark and Charis Leos.
Coon, who was featured with three other Fulton actors in a recorded musical performance during the telethon, was getting his head shaved on camera just as the online portion of the fundraiser ended. He had promised to lose his hair if an extra $5,000 could be raised in the last few minutes of the event.
The telethon included recorded and live musical performances and recorded testimonials from such past Fulton actors as "Kinky Boots" star Darius Harper, Nathaniel Hackmann, Travis Taylor and Randy Jeter. Others appearing included Broadway actors Kalyn West ("The Prom"), Kate Fahrner ("Wicked") and Timothy Hughes ("Hadestown"), all of whom performed at the theater.
Young performers from the Fulton Academy performed a recorded split-screen musical number from their homes.
Stage, film and TV actor Jonathan Groff, who performed at the Fulton as a teenager, sent a video message from Berlin, Germany, where he is filming the "Matrix 4" sequel. And staff members and actors performed "This is Our Home," a new song about the Fulton, written by Clark and Robin.
Local business owners and community leaders also recorded videos for the event, talking about the importance of the Fulton Theatre and local arts, in general, to the local community and economy.