News Column

Fundraiser targets auditorium

August 25, 2014

By Amy Kent, Clinton Herald, Iowa



Aug. 25--CLINTON -- Each year for the last four years, Don Tegeler has organized local musicians and musical acts to perform for two days to benefit a non-profit cause.

In the past three years, the Tegeler Music Benefit concert committee has donated the proceeds from the two-day music event to nationally recognized organizations including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Wounded Warriors Project.

This year, the group decided it would keep the fundraising efforts local, choosing the Clinton Fine Arts Association as the main benefactor.

"When we started this whole thing the idea was to raise money for a non-profit organization and the second mission is to support local musicians," Tegeler said. "When I became involved with the Clinton Fine Arts Association it made sense to choose them as the beneficiary because they exemplify what this concert is all about."

The money raised at this year's benefit concert, which will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Riverview Bandshell, will go to the CFAA's efforts to build a new auditorium at Clinton Middle School.

The estimated $6 million project was originally part of the Clinton Community School District's new middle school construction, but when the district realized the project was well over budget, the auditorium was taken off the construction list.

When that announcement came, Eagle Heights Elementary Fine Arts teacher Ben Logan created the CFAA.

Not long after, Tegeler joined the cause and realized the full capacity of what raising money for the auditorium would take.

"It's a daunting task to fundraise for this auditorium," Tegeler said. "But once we lose Washington (Middle School) and Lyons (Middle School) the only place to go is Vernon Cook Theater and that is booked all the time. To think our middle school and elementary school students won't have a place to perform and showcase their talents is a terrible thought."

Because the CFAA was created and is putting forth the effort, the district has kept the auditorium in its original design and offered a location on the Clinton Middle School complex.

But the auditorium won't just be for Clinton students. The center will be created and marketed as a community performance theater, similar to the performing arts center located in DeWitt.

While the money raised at the benefit concert will go to funding the auditorium, Tegeler said the support of the CFAA is more than that.

In creating the concert, he wanted to give local musicians the opportunity to perform on a level they may never have gotten the chance to do. Tegeler pulls out all the stops during the benefit concert, offering professional sound and lighting equipment. He even records the entire set for the bands to use as promotional tools in the future.

"If our kids don't have the encouragement to stay involved with the arts that's a tragedy. It's a big part of brain development for kids," Tegeler said. "Even though the motivation for this year's beneficiary was the auditorium, it was really more about supporting the arts in this community."

Clinton Herald Staff Writer Amy Kent can be reached at amykent@clintonherald.com.

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(c)2014 Clinton Herald (Clinton, Iowa)

Visit the Clinton Herald (Clinton, Iowa) at clintonherald.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Clinton Herald (IA)


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