Medford’s resurgent Chevalier Theatre has received another boost, thanks to Medford Whole Foods Market and its customers.
Whole Foods recently presented the Friends of Chevalier Auditorium and Gene Mack Gym with a donation of $3,285, representing proceeds from the Medford store’s Five Percent Day on Jan. 13. As part of Whole Foods’ community philanthropy program, four times per year, each store selects a local nonprofit organization to receive five percent of a designated day’s register sales.
The Medford store raises a total annual donation of about $15,000.
Friends of Chevalier fosters financial and community support for the theater and the Medford Boys and Girls Club in Gene Mack Gym, located beneath the theater. The Friends will use this donation to further invest in new programming that the group has helped bring to Chevalier, in particular the popular OnStage concert series that debuted in September 2015. The series, during which performers and audience share the Chevalier stage, has brought top-quality artists to Medford and will feature a Saturday morning children’s concert on Feb. 20.
This past year, the Friends also co-sponsored the Chevalier 75th anniversary concert, featuring Celtic ensemble the Barra MacNeils, and a silent movie program as part of Arts Across Medford. These events and others produced by the Chevalier Auditorium Commission have helped attract more than 11,000 patrons to the theater in 2015, a number that is expected to grow in 2016 with more than a dozen events already on the calendar.
“Chevalier Theatre is rapidly becoming the new place people look for entertainment,” said Susan Fairchild, a Friends of Chevalier board member and chair of the Chevalier Auditorium Commission. “We thank Whole Foods Market Medford for their support. This donation will help us to expand the OnStage Series, as well as broaden the show offerings for the community.”
Matthew Robertson, the marketing team leader for Whole Foods, said, “Giving back to the community is engrained in our culture at Whole Foods Market and the Chevalier Theater embodies everything we look for in a recipient. It’s packed with history, has rebounded from tragedy and has inspired our community through the generations.”
Chevalier Theatre, built as a WPA project in 1940, survived a massive fire that struck the adjacent Medford High School complex in 1965. It was rarely used in the 1970s, fell into disrepair and was closed for more than a decade before reopening in 1992 following more than $2 million in renovations.
For information regarding upcoming events: chevaliertheatre.com.
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