Wieting Theatre – 2019 – Year in Review- “Here for You!”

Jim Roan, project manager for both the Wieting Theatre Phase I and II speaks during the Sept. 8, 2019, re-dedication ceremonies for the new events center addition. Chronicle file photos/John Speer

2019 can be compared to getting your home ready for that important high school graduation open house or your mother’s 90th birthday celebration. Special events provide the incentive to fix safety issues like the wobbly handrail or add that deck you’ve always dreamed of.

Last year, the Trustees and Guild Members, along with many dedicated volunteers and local contractors, corrected safety issues and gave us the new addition we have always dreamed of.

Our “home” was ready to welcome and celebrate with visitors.

During 2019, we gave a tour to the MCC Creative Retirement Group and a Fidelity Bank sponsored trip.

The “big screen” was used by the Tama County Public Health to present their program entitled, “I Am Evidence”.

South Tama High School Music Dept. production of Cinderella at the Wieting under rehearsal.

July was a very busy month! I was personally in awe of the dedication and local talent in the community production of Our Town.

The Guild hosted a fundraising Gala. A delicious meal was enjoyed followed by the raucous performance of Amy Abler’s Piano Divalicous. She was a big hit!

That event was followed by our budding actors in Calamity Jane, the Wieting’s week long theatre camp for children.

The re-dedication of the Wieting Theatre and Opera House and the new addition took place on September 8th. It was extra special because Philip Wieting the VI spoke, and we had the opportunity to meet 10 descendants of Philip and Ella, one of Toledo’s most influential pioneer families.

Joan Hayward Helm shared her research on Court Houses of Tama County in her Then and Now Program.

Wieting with new events center at night.

Mark McFate hosted the Geocaching International Film Festival.

The Wieting again had the privilege of hosting the premier of Coyotaje staring Larry Yazzie, a native of the Meskwaki Settlement.

Last Fall, STC Vocal Music Department presented the musical, Cinderella. The next day, guests were able to enjoy a Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea and a showing of the movie.

As part of the Veteran’s Day activities, the Wieting hosted Jeff Stein’s “From the Battlefront to the Homefront: Iowa Broadcasters Go to War”.

The Guild loves to support the STC School District by providing the venue for the Senior Honor’s Exhibition, Individual Speech Night, National Honor Society Induction Ceremony and Large Group Speech Parent Night.

Throughout the year, our space has been rented for family reunions, baby showers, family meals, and customer appreciation events for local businesses. It would be the perfect place to host your next class reunion or graduation party. The site was used by HyVee for job interviews training of new staff. Free watercolor classes along with a showing of original art from the Iowa Watercolor Society for another opportunity for our residents.

The Wieting Guild is very appreciative of the great community support especially in the area of fundraising to reduce debt and help with the donation of equipment or programming. Guild members continued to raise funds with our soup supper after the Christmas Parade and Trivia Night. A big thank you to Iowa Premium, Fareway and Hy-Vee for donating ingredients for our 2nd Annual Lasagna sale before Thanksgiving.

The Tama County Foundation’s continued support is very much appreciated by providing a grant this past year to help purchase a follow-spot light for theatrical productions and tables for the event space.

The Tama-Toledo Lion’s Club stepped up to provide scholarship money for deserving students

to attend Camp Creamery next year. Other individuals and organizations have donated chairs, microwave, power tools, kitchen supplies, and items too numerous to mention.

As a reminder, every time you order on Amazon, please order through Smile.Amazon and just designate the Wieting as the charity of choice and .5% of your purchase will be sent to the Wieting. Another opportunity would be to contact Michelle Evans to purchase Kwik Star gas cards. The Wieting gets 10% back for each dollar of gas purchased and a 15% rebate when used to purchase groceries at Kwik Star.

The Wieting is totally run by volunteers for the benefit of the community. As a result, 52% of the events held in 2019 were free to partner organizations such as the Tama County Historical Museum, Tama-Toledo Chamber of Commerce, Tama County Public Health, South Tama and BGM School Districts, and Tama County American Legion and Auxiliary

Guild members will always be guided by our mission statement: “To promote quality cinema, theatrical, and cultural opportunities which are inclusive, accessible, and enriching.”

Covid 19 has our entire country in a holding pattern, but know that Guild members have used this time to disinfect, remove stains from seats, shampoo carpets and continue to plan events to be ready to serve you. We have additional enriching activities planned for our area youth to hopefully take advantage of this summer.

Once this pandemic is over, the Wieting Theatre and Opera House will be here for your visits, but most importantly, to help make Tama-Toledo a wonderful place to live! Take advantage of this local gem!

See ‘ya at the Wieting.