Knoxville — The Knoxville Heritage Community Foundation has pledged $15,000 over three years to the Grand Theater Foundation. Several KHCF Board members were on hand for a check presentation Wednesday afternoon.
Since the beginning of 2014, the foundation has brought in over $90,000 to be used for the renovation and reopening of Knoxville's historic Grand Theater. Large contributions from the Knoxville Heritage Community Foundation ($15,000), Weiler Foundation ($25,000) and Mark and Jill (Fuerhoff) Oman ($50,000), in addition to the group's regular fundraising and awareness efforts puts fundraising at more than a quarter of the way to its overall goal of $500,000.
"These three gifts - and the people who made them - represent the heart and soul of Knoxville and what continues to make us so special," a press release from the Grand Theater Foundation reads. "A group of volunteers working together for the betterment of the community, a major Knoxville-based business whose growth and success we're all so proud of and inspired by; and a Knoxville alum with fond memories of our theater and of growing up in our wonderful community."
"Appreciative" does not begin to describe how the foundation feels about the gifts it has received, the release continues. The foundation is happy to recognize its donors and partner with them through the journey of rebuilding a piece of Knoxville's vibrant past and a promising future. The day the foundation can "flip the switch" on the big, beautiful marquee will be a brighter day for the entire community and beyond. The foundation is thankful for everyone's support.
Since its inception, the foundation has raised $150,000 for its renovation efforts. Thanks to the generous gifts of time and talent from community volunteers, the theater has largely been gutted and made ready for contractors (electrical, heating and plumbing) who hope to start work this month.
As work is completed on the streetscape project and additional money is raised, Knoxville can expect major improvements to the building's facade as well. When renovations are completed, the community will have a fully-functioning theater/opera house that showcases the best of today's technology, with the character and appeal of the 1920s and 1930s that will give everyone another reason to stop downtown for an evening.