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Dedication marks completion of Wieting Theatre Opera House Phase II

September 11, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

It was a near full house Sunday afternoon, Sept. 8, for the dedication marking the completion of Phase II of the Wieting Theatre - Opera House project. The program highlighted the $2.9 million work including an event center addition and upgrades to the 107-year-old Toledo landmark.

Jim Roan, retired Toledo attorney who has served as the project manager for both the restoration and modernization of the facility, was master of ceremonies for the program. Roan credited the Wieting trustees, Theatre Guild members and acknowledged the more than 200 corporate, grants programs and individuals whose contributions paid for the undertaking.

"When RLou Snyder, who had served as Guild president for 40 some years, came to me in 2005 with the message "Something's got to be done or the theatre will have to close" Roan said the plans began to develop. From there, he said, with the focus on using local contractors wherever possible, the work was done.

Article Photos

Dedication reception in the new events center addition to the Wieting Theatre - Opera House on Sunday, Sept. 8.
Chronicle photos/John Speer

From the Rev. LaVerne Seth's opening prayer to Roan's comments and those of Toledo Mayor John Lloyd, Tama Mayor Mike Carnahan and Tama-Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce President Danielle Hardon the vital importance of volunteers for the community-owned theatre was the thread running through all. The important continuing role the theatre plays in providing for the arts was stressed.

The theatre was a gift to the community in 1912 by Ella Wieting in memory of her husband Philip, who had been a leading business person and resident of Toledo.

On Sunday, the remarks of Philip Wieting IV continued the family's tradition. "Our purpose for being here today is to honor and appreciate what you achievers have done, he said. "This is not about us it's about all of you. As a Marine, I've always been discouraged about how two words have been used- that is Gung Ho. You've read about how they took off like a gung ho Marines. Gung ho was a reference by the Chinese of the Marines- it means work together. I think of no betters words to say than you are a gung ho group."

An encore performance by the kids taking part in the summer Campy Creamery production of "Calamity Jane" was followed by tours and refreshments in the newly-completed event center addition.

Roan made special mention of the dedication of Guild members Denise Fletcher and Michelle Evans? and the financial assistance provided by Enhance Iowa, The State Bank of Toledo, the Mansfield Foundation, Tama County Board of Supervisors and the cities of Toledo and Tama for their backing.



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