022221 Lompoc Theatre

Lompoc Theatre Project hosted a live telethon and variety event on March 26 to raise funds to restore the local theater.

Lompoc Theatre Project's live telethon and variety event that took place virtually in late March was deemed a success, according to board member Michelle Ball.

The 2.5-hour event on March 26 drew approximately 200 live viewers at any time and 5,700 views of the video later posted to the theater's website, she said.

Hosted by theater Executive Director Mark Herrier via Facebook Live, the show featured celebrity guests and performing musicians and local artists who joined forces to help raise money for the restoration and reopening of the historic theater.

"I'm thrilled by both the turnout of the event and the amount of money it raised," Ball said. "I think it helped answer a lot of questions people had with regard to the theater's history, the history of our nonprofit and our plans for the future."

The virtual event also exceeded the organization's initial goal of raising $50,000, she said, raising $50,804 for the cause. The total funds raised came from direct donations, through an online auction and sales of VIP tickets, which gave patrons access to items up for auction.

"We’ve continued to have donations trickle in from the video," said Ball, adding that a long journey still lies ahead to reach $7.5 million to get the project underway.

"But hitting the $50K mark from an event puts us in a different category in terms of access to grants," she added.

According to Ball, the event also served as an opportunity to demonstrate to the community the performance quality of the theater and the valuable pool of talent found in Lompoc.

Overall, the event proved to be a success based on feedback and the level of engagement.

"It also shows the community is very supportive of the project and wants to see this happen," Ball said.