October 24, 2022

LCT to hold Holiday Ball Fundraiser

La Crosse Community Theatre is reviving its annual fundraising gala.

Previously known as the Patron Gala Fundraiser, the event is being revived as the Holiday Ball Fundraiser after being sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts downtown will serve as a fundraiser for LCT as they look forward to celebrating 60 years as a cultural staple of the Coulee Region. The evening will include a cocktail hour starting at 5 p.m., silent auction, and an exclusive raffle with a prize package that includes tickets to Irishfest, Summerfest and a Green Bay Packers game.

“We will also be inducting new members into our Hall of Fame, recognizing those who have made a great impact on the legacy of our organization,” says artistic director Seth Kieser.

La Crosse Community Theatre’s nascent days go back to 1962 when a group of community members got together and realized that there was a need for an organized theatrical group in La Crosse. After a number of meetings, longtime theatre supporter and 2017 LCT Hall of Fame inductee, Sally Cremer, was elected as the group’s first board president.

The incorporation of the group as a 501©(3) organization in 1963 allowed them to begin raising the necessary funds to perform in a permanent home, which they would eventually do so in 1968, taking up residence at 118 Fifth Ave. N., which is currently the site of the Cavalier Theater and Lounge.

Over the years, the company has received statewide, national and international recognition for a variety of categories, including performances, scenic design, lighting design, costume design and organizational recognition among others.

In 2011, as a partnership between LCT and Viterbo University, ground was broken on Front Street to provide the ever-growing theatre company with additional space for general operations, rehearsals, production construction and other events. It also allowed an expansion in programming, offering not one but two theatres to be used to continue expanding the types of productions and ways of storytelling offered in each of the unique performance spaces.

This growth in space has allowed the company to present a number of regional community theatre productions, such as “Les Misérables,” “Billy Elliot,” “Mary Poppins” and, most recently, Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

Work began this past spring to start preparing and planning for the long-awaited return of the fundraising event. Associate artistic director Mary Cate Wesling headed up a committee that includes board members Mary Ann Gschwind, FSPA; Lynnetta Kopp; Bradley Weber; Jay Lokken; as well as Kieser; director of education and outreach Alex Attardo; and interim director Erik Vose.

“We have been working hard behind the scenes to offer an incredible evening filled with good drinks, great food catered by Piggy’s, and spectacular prizes from in and around the Coulee Region stretching all the way to Green Bay,” says Wesling. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to fundraise for our business in a way that includes our community volunteers, board members, as well as current and future attendees of shows.”

Additionally, there will be some sneak preview performances from upcoming productions of “Scrooge in Rouge” and “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” as well as an opportunity to purchase single tickets to all of the shows in the season before they go on sale to the general public.

All of the funds raised during the evening will give LCT the opportunity to continue to expand their reach within the community and provide revenue streams that will allow the theatre company to maintain the high-quality of their productions. “

Holiday Ball tickets are $50 for adults, $30 for students, and $14 for military.