RTR office moves center stage

By Paula Frew - For the Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY — Raise the Roof for the Arts (RTR) now has an office fitting with their cause.

On Saturday, Aug. 20, RTR moved their office, with the help of HondaGO, to the Historic Sidney Theatre.

HondaGO is the name of a group of employees from the various plants that volunteer time to help better their communities. The Heroes involved in moving the office were Mike Hochstetler from Anna Engine Plant, Frank Brady from Anna Engine Plant, his daughters, Hannah and Laura Brady, Sara Coffel from Anna Engine Plant, Ginger Haynes from Honda Operations Office, Janie Summers, community member, and Trisha Wells, community member.

“It is a privilege to coordinate the activities of our volunteers,” Haynes said. “Their giving spirit is an inspiration and I am energized by all that they can accomplish.”

A group of HondaGO employees had helped with renovation at the Historic Sidney Theatre before. Haynes called Sarah Barr, Executive Director of RTR, to see if any further help was needed. Barr gladly enlisted their help for the move.

“Raise the Roof for the Arts decided it was time for there to be a presence at the theatre. We were just a block away, down the street, and that’s what brought us down here. It brings life to the theatre on a daily basis. It also allows us to be a ticket outlet for the events we hold. It gives us a bigger presence in the community. People know where we are, now,” said Barr.

Raise the Roof bought the historic theatre in 2007 and began fundraising to revitalize the landmark in 2009. The theatre was built in 1921 by CB DeWeese.

In addition to HondaGO, who also helped to gut the area being used as the office, RTR has several other local businesses to thank for the new office becoming a reality.

“We’ve had many local community people in helping. We had great community volunteers. This isn’t just a Raise the Roof for the Arts’ project. It’s a community project,” Barr said.

Alyson Morris, President of the Sock & Buskin community theatre in Sidney, said, “The Sock & Buskin community is very excited for the theatre to be open. I know Sarah is working on some new ideas to offer to the community. We’re lucky because what she does helps us do what we do.”

The most anticipated event of the day was getting the desk from the manager’s office in the upstairs, downstairs into the new office.

“I don’t know how many managers sat at that desk in the theatre’s history, but I thought it was important that it remain a part of the theatre. We are moving it from the manager’s office to the executive office because it is part of the nostalgia of the theatre. It’s part of saving the history of the theatre, too,” said Barr.

The offices erupted with applause Saturday as a Honda volunteer wheeled the desk through the door and situated it, center stage, in the office.

By Paula Frew

For the Sidney Daily News

This writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News. Reach her at paula.frew1@gmail.com.

This writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News. Reach her at paula.frew1@gmail.com.