We are pleased to introduce two couples who serve as Co-Chairs for our 2014-15 annual fund campaign. Long-time arts supporters, they bring unique backgrounds to their appreciation for the performing arts.
After meeting at Luther College, Allison and Tom Greenwald moved to Ames in 1992 for Tom’s job at McFarland Clinic. They wanted to live in a college town, although moving did mean that Tom had to switch from being a Hawkeye to being a Cyclone!
Attending events at Stephens Auditorium was a habit the Greenwalds started right as soon as they became Ames residents, because as Allison notes, “we love to see good music and drama.” Having both grown up in very musical families, the Greenwalds also sang in choirs and played instruments in high school and/or college bands, and made sure their three children did the same.
They rarely miss the Broadway shows at Stephens Auditorium; Allison recalled past favorites like My Fair Lady and Mamma Mia and would love to see Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music come to Ames. They appreciate the fun, though less well-known groups like Masters of the Fiddle and the Ukulele Orchestra. In addition to touring theater and musical performances, they have enjoyed many exciting performances of the local Nutcracker Ballet during their daughter’s “dancing years.”
“We like to support what we value. Both of us enjoy live entertainment and the convenience of being able to drive one mile to the theater! We love the perks that come with supporting the Performing Arts Fund such as preferential parking and a chance to meet with the musicians and actors.”
Allison and Tom Greenwald
Cecilia and Jack Horner hail from the Chicago area, and spent time in Oak Park and Evanston before heading west almost 50 years ago and making Ames “home.” Cecilia is retired from teaching English and Speech, and Jack is a faculty member at Iowa State University.
The Horners were in attendance opening night of the New York Philharmonic at Stephens Auditorium in 1969, and Cecilia described how her neighborhood of new mothers with small children and limited resources sewed their own long dresses for the occasion, a thrilling celebration for the Ames community.
Cecilia was instrumental in helping us start “On Stage,” our year-long high school outreach program. The opportunity to select and accompany ten juniors and seniors to six different artistic events at Stephens Auditorium was one of the highlights of her Ames High teaching career.
On the Horners’ list of “dream shows” are a return of the New York Philharmonic, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Bolshoi Ballet. A recent favorite was Bill Cosby’s recent performance. Cecilia recalled fondly that by sitting up close, they were involved in a bit of banter with the legend during his monologue. “This might be the only time in our lives we were applauded for being married for 52 years and being high school sweethearts. We still have the blue box of Kleenex Cosby handed to us during his show!” she noted.
A lifelong love of the arts spurs the Horners to donate to the programs at Stephens Auditorium. Jack noted that both of them were treated to the arts in Chicago by their parents.
“We love attending performances of world-renowned groups. One does not need to travel to Chicago, New York or San Francisco to experience the ‘best-of-the-best’ in high-class performances – we are lucky to have them right here!”
The Performing Arts Fund at Stephens Auditorium helps to underwrite rising talent fees and keep tickets affordable. This support is vital because ticket revenue provides only 65% of the cost of presenting performances.