Check out the donation totals! Stark Cultural Venues helps make holiday impact.

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Lutcher Theater, Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center and The W.H. Stark House hosted food drives and pajama collections as part of various holiday events.

The Stark Museum of Art also provided merriment to budding artists in the community through distribution of various art projects.

The Lutcher Theater ushered in this initiative to spread warmth to those in need with a pajama and blanket drive. With the help of Shangri La Botanical Gardens, a total of 60 new pajamas and 178 blankets were collected that benefitted Salvation Army of Orange.

In conjunction with performances of STOMP, the Lutcher initiated a STOMP Out Hunger campaign, involving Free State Cellars, First Financial Bank and Dow as community partners.

More than 550 pounds of non-perishable food items were collected to benefit Orange Christian Services.

From the Lutcher Incredible Kids Events to their Christmas a cappella performance, the Lutcher welcomed 7,333 patrons during the holiday season.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens visitors and team members helped donate 60 new pajamas and 178 blankets that benefitted Salvation Army of Orange. (Courtesy photo)

During this time, Lutcher Theater Service Guild members delivered a total of 952 volunteer hours.

In all, organizers said 543 hours of service were committed by Shangri La volunteers and other corporate partners to facilitate a record-breaking season of Christmas Strolls.

“Thanks to the altruism of these visitors, 10,404 pounds of non-perishable food items and a generous amount of monetary donations were collected to benefit Orange Christian Services,” a Stark release stated.

“Further community impact from Strolls includes the efforts of Orange Lions Club. The organization sold more than 6,000 cups of hot cocoa and 3,000 cookies throughout Strolls. The funds generated by Orange Lions Club will be used to support community projects.”

The W.H. Stark House Christmas Open House event experienced record-breaking visitation, with 629 visitors. During the Stark Family Christmas events, more than 100 non-perishable food items were collected to support the Salvation Army of Orange.

The Stark Museum of Art joined The W.H. Stark House in the Christmas Downtown festivities by distributing 178 kits that provided holiday art-making opportunities for area youth. The museum staff lent their efforts throughout the holiday tours and programming offered at The W.H. Stark House. In November, the Stark Museum of Art team was especially busy distributing 3,910 art kits to Orange County schools for their virtual field trip offerings.

“The Stark Foundation would like to express our deepest gratitude to the community for such a remarkable response to our holiday programming and charitable initiatives. We are incredibly thankful for our wonderful community that lends its tremendous support to continuously go above and beyond to exceed our expectations. We appreciate the efforts of all who have helped us make a meaningful impact this holiday season,” said Clyde “Tad” McKee, president and chief executive officer of the Stark Foundation.

For more information on any of the Stark Cultural Venues, 2024 event schedules or how to get involved, please visit starkculturalvenues.org.