Let's Put the Sunrise Over the Top
Once again, you are cordially invited to stay home, pour the drink of your choice, be in your PJs and write a check to the Sunrise Theater.
We of The Committee That Never Meets managed to put a new roof on that gem of a building last year. More movies, more concerts, more bluegrass, more dance recitals, more of what makes Southern Pines and Pinehurst worthwhile.
The Sunrise Theater lifts our real estate values, as does our independent bookstore. We are not just another town with nothing to offer but big box stores (and bless them, they have their place as well). No, we have small, independent businesses, a great independent bookstore, and the jewel in the crown: the Sunrise.
Now, in this time of giving, our committee (which if you are new to the area really does never meet) raises money by the simple act of writing checks.
And, as in all good Christmas stories, there is also an angel. Through the kindness of a group called the Eugene McDermott Foundation, the Sunrise has a gift of $25,000 toward the $75,000 to $100,000 needed for new digital projection equipment.
Imagine a person who has lived in Pinehurst and loves the Sunrise who would go to bat with a foundation he serves on to help us keep this jewel? And the foundation is in Texas! And those in charge usually grant only their own state, bless their hearts.
So here we are at this festive time of year, when Dickens reminds us to care for one another - which is always a way of caring for ourselves, as Scrooge comes to see. He gains joy, love and a better life - plus the company of many people instead of the company of only himself. So it is with giving to the Sunrise. The people you can meet are nearly endless, and the joy of being there with them is great.
If there was ever a group who stand with the ghost of Christmas Present, it is The Committee That Never Meets, full of the joy of any and all seasons that bring art and music and dance and film - that lead us to know ourselves better. We are far from Scrooge, who knew that darkness is cheap and liked it.
We like the dimming of lights for the Metropolitan Opera, for the prelude to a concert, or for a film that will get short shrift at the cineplex but will be flooded with viewers here. Our dark is a temporary dark, giving way to the magic of movie light.
And to that end, I am rousing the troops, as it were, to take the gift from the foundation in the spirit of a matching grant. Of course we can raise this money. We have come close before, and we can again. The "bang for the buck" with the Sunrise cannot be calculated. In a year, we will have to purchase a new digital system or we will be unable to show any movies of any kind. The industry is moving away from film.
If you even hope to go to a movie, if you come to the Met or any concerts, you have a stake in this. I daresay, no movies, no Sunrise! We need all the types of ticket sales to keep this going. And if one collapses, I fear all will.
Now, no one knows more than I do that we aren't all made of money. But we can all give something, and some of us are mightily blessed and should give all the more. I am pledging to you that a donation of $250 will come from me. Join me. This is a fiscal hill that we can climb together by fives and 10s if need be! And for goodness sake, if you have a foundation or business with charitable giving known to you - reach out to them!
Let us take the Ghost of Christmas Present as our model this year and fly about our days showing everyone the joy of being convivial and giving.
Let us join Scrooge, as "he became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town or borough, in the good old world" - including right here. Bless you, everyone!
Please send any checks to: The Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St., Southern Pines, NC 28387. Designate your check "CTNM/Digital," to show that you are a member of The Committee That Never Meets.
Joyce Reehling lives in Pinehurst. She recently retired here from New York after a 33-year career in theater, TV and commercials.
More like this story