Date:   1/14/2001

Thrasher's purchase aided by Bank - More funds needed

When the Raise The Curtain committee began their work in September of 2001, there was a daunting task in front of them. The Board of Directors of Thrasher Opera House had been given the opportunity to purchase the exquisitely restored facility by its owner,-Ron Hagstrom. The asking price was substantially less than the value of the building,  and far below the cost of its restoration. The challenge however was a big one-since Ron Hagstrom had set the deadline for the purchase  to take place before the end of 2001.

As December arrived the funds raised in total pledges were over $100,000-and amazing accomplishment given the unstable economy and the impact of September 11th-but still not enough to close the purchase.

When Roby Irvin and, Executive Director of Thrasher and John Porter ,Treasurer  of the corporation contacted the Green Lake State Bank they knew that there was help at hand. Terry Williamson, President of Green Lake State Bank assured the two that a bridge loan could be arranged very easily, and that the bank would offer the lowest interest rate possible. Board of Directors members felt it was a “real lifesaver” for their purchase effort.

Thus , on December 10 the closing of the sale of Thrasher’s to the non-profit Thrasher Opera House Corporation took place. Funds raised to that date were used to make a down payment on the building, and a six month bridge loan  for the balance, of approximately $100,000 was implemented.

“We still have a great deal of work to do,” said Roby Irvin, Opera House Director, but the bank made it possible for us to meet the sale deadline. Now we are seeking the communities’ help to allow us to pay off the bridge loan  by early next Summer.”

Ironically, the sense of urgency regarding completion of the sale of Thrasher’s became much more clearly understood when the passing of Ron Hagstrom became known. after December 19. “ It was almost like he wanted to make sure the building he so lovingly restored would continue to be there for Green Lake,” said Roby Irvin. Now the task remains to raise the funds to complete the sale and improvements.

The total goal of the Raise The Curtain  effort is To raise of total of $362,000. The additional $195,000 would be to make improvements in the facility, enhance the sound and lighting systems used for performances, and to add exterior signage that would better identify the building and offer the public an opportunity to know what events are planned.

For information about making a contribution contact Thrasher’s at 920/294-4279. Gifts are tax deductible and be pledged over several years if the donor desires.


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