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Area Theater Celebrates A Year Of Giving Back

By Joseph Huisinga | CBS 2/Fox 28 |  January 28, 2016

Marion, IA (CBS 2 / FOX 28) – A local theater is celebrating its first year of fun and looking to its future

The Giving Tree Theater has lived up to its name and hopes to continue giving back to the community it calls home.

The theater could still be considered a newcomer to uptown Marion but the community has welcomed them with open arms.

“We felt like there was an opportunity in the Marion area specifically to start something,” says owner Richie Akers. “So we just kind of leapt and went for it.”

That leap paid off; in the last 12 months Giving Tree has been putting on productions while performing good deeds for others.

“It has been a whirl wind,” says Akers. “Part of our mission is to give back to the local community so we actually donate a portion of or proceeds to local human services nonprofits.”

So far Giving Tree has given more than $10,000 to area groups like Foundation 2 and the Ronald McDonald House, but each show benefits a different organization.

“Each cast will take a vote and decided and discuss and let us know what they come up with,” says Akers “Then we reach out to that human services nonprofit and let them know.”

Now the cast of upcoming show Harvey has decided to give their proceeds to the Abbe Center for Community Mental Health.

The focus on good theater and good causes has helped Giving Tree grow into a popular play house and as they move into their second year they want to keep the spotlight on their core mission.

“We’re not looking to take over the theater world or anything or go to Broadway.” says Akers. “We want to stay here in Marion and just put on good shows.”

The comedy Harvey opens Friday the 29th at 8:00 and runs for the next 3 weekends.

Friday and Saturday shows will start at 8:00, Sunday shows will be a 2:00.

http://cbs2iowa.com/news/local/area-theater-celebrates-a-year-of-giving-back

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