The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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December 2, 2012

Persons of the Week: Backstage boosters: Guild officers direct fundraisers for Arcadia upgrades

— The Arcadia Theater Guild continues to breathe life into a historic building that attracts fabulous entertainment for the community.

The two dozen members of the guild never stop looking for ways to improve the Arcadia Theater, located on Graham Avenue in the heart of Windber Borough.

Established in 1998, the guild has held many events such as basket raffles, calendar parties and dances to raise money for improvement projects.

Past improvements include outside showcases for advertising and marketing purposes and a beverage bar in the lobby. The next project the guild is working on is making improvements to the stage.

The guild will be raising money for that work through its Family Holiday Photographs project from 1 to 4 p.m. on both Dec. 9 and 16 in the lobby of the theater.

Westmont photographer Charles Rametta is donating his time to take the photos in front of a Christmas display. The cost for a photo is $10. Photos will be printed on the spot. No appointments are necessary.

The Christmas display was erected by another volunteer, Dan Hiteshew.

Susan Heller, guild president, said the goal of the guild is to help the

nonprofit Arcadia Theater provide quality entertainment for the community.

The theater has been able to bring superior entertainment such as The Lettermen, The Osmond Brothers and The Texas Tenors to town, Heller said.

All of the guild members work hard to raise money and also help during the various events by selling tickets and merchandise, acting as ushers and helping the entertainers, she said.

“They’re dedicated to the theater,” said the Upper Yoder Township resident.

Heller, whose husband, Dan, is a guild member, said she loves being in the guild.

“I’ve met a lot of nice people,” she said about everyone associated with the theater. “There is good camaraderie with all the members of the guild.”

Linda Rhodes, guild vice president and a native of Windber, said the Arcardia Theater has always meant much to the residents of Windber.

“The Arcadia was always the central part of growing up,” she said. “When people started dating, they would go to the movies there,” she said.

The theater is great for Windber in that it draws people from outside the area, including other states, to Windber, she said.

The homelike atmosphere of the theater is great, she said.

“It promotes Windber as a place where you would like to raise a family,” she said about the friendly environment that exists throughout the town.

The original members of the guild are the ones who should be recognized for their work in making the theater what it is, said Rhodes, who now resides in Oakland.

“They laid the groundwork for the rest of us,” she said, adding that a few of the original members remain on the guild.

For their efforts with the guild, Heller and Rhodes are the Persons of the Week.

Other members of the guild are

Millie Molnar, Rose Pruchnik, Ruth Rakoczy, Joyce Muscatello, Millie Pierre, Evelyn Phillips, Hazel Hillegas, Barb Maser, Kathi Lepere, Val Korzi, Lavonne Adams, Mary Lou Koeck, Lois Ott, Pat Meyers, Mary Brunberg, Sandy Pettibone, Kitty Kurchak, Jeanne Kuzmyak, Margie Bahorik, Sandy Dively and Elaine Matchik.

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