What a grand fund-raising idea...
Sponsored paper hearts hanging from the ceiling of Lowther Pavilion’s foyer have generated £1,000 for the Love Lowther renovation appeal at the Lytham theatre – and the hope is that they will help raise much more.
Lowther officials are looking to raise as much cash as possible from a number of initiatives for the £5.25m refurbishment project intended to be completed in time for the venue’s centenary in 2021 and the hearts have proved a big success among theatre-goers at £5 a time.
Susan Chandler, a member of the Friends of Lowther, originally came up with the idea in the run-up to Christmas.
She suggested that rather than decorating the festive tree with traditional baubles, the hearts could be used to reflect the Love Lowther theme and from there came the idea of asking people to donate a fiver the appeal by adding their name to a heart.
They prove such a hit that after Christmas it was decided to keep them up for Valentine’s Day and the campaign has continued to raise funds since.
Susan said: “By February 15, the hearts had become a fixture in the foyer, slowly filling up the ceiling - they couldn’t possibly come down now.
“People love them and several have added a heart each time they visit the theatre adding the name of a friend or different family member. I’ve heard people telling friends that they’ve put their name on a heart and challenging them to find it when they visit the theatre themselves.”
Susan and fellow Friends member Julie Alderson presented a cheque for the first £1,000 raised by the hearts for the appeal to Lowther general manager Roger McCann, who said: ‘I think this has been a fantastic initiative.
“Not only do the hearts look magnificent, really brightening up the foyer, but they’re a tangible demonstration of the affection in which the Lowther is held.
“People can donate £1,000 to join our Band of Names or £200 to put their name on one of the new seats but this is a wonderful way for people to make a small donation and see how it mounts up.
“The hearts are like Christmas tree baubles and we attach a paper heart, with the donor’s name or whatever name they like, on it.
“Hearts can be obtained at the box office or there is usually somebody from the Friends here to take donations at performances.”
Julie added: “The front of house volunteers have been milling among the audience during the intervals at a variety of shows inviting people to join the campaign.
“We’ve raised the first £1,000 and we’d like to thank everybody who has contributed. Now it’s on to the second £1,000 - there’s a lot of ceiling in the foyer to fill!”