BLT hopes for fundraising boost

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Posted: Saturday, May 11, 2013 12:00 am

Bette Swanson, a founding figure and longtime stalwart of the Bellevue Little Theatre, is rallying the troops ahead of a fundraising event that could do much to help fund an $18,000 theater renovation.

“This is a real opportunity for us,” Swanson said. “It would be really great if people could help make it happen.”

She was referring to “Omaha Gives,” a multi-county fundraising project of the Omaha Community Foundation.

The fundraiser is a 24-hour online event lasting from 12:01 a.m. May 22 through midnight the same day.

The non-profits that receive most donations May 22 will receive additional money from a matching fund that will accumulate throughout the day. Every hour, Omaha Steaks will add $1,000 to the total of a randomly selected non-profit, thus boosting its total and making it more likely to receive money from the foundation’s matching fund.

The Bellevue Little Theatre is not the only Bellevue-area nonprofit hoping to get a financial boost from the event.

Also participating are the Bellevue Public Schools Foundation, Bellevue University, the Child Saving Institute, which has long managed a residential facility at 42nd Street and Giles Road, Youth Emergency Services, Gross Catholic High School, the Sarpy County Historical Society, and the Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation.

Donors who go online at the day of the fundraiser may donate money to any of approximately 300 nonprofits in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties.

The minimum donation is $10 and donors may monitor their favored organization’s progress through the day.

Donations may be made directly to a particular non-profit, or else to the foundation’s matching fund, which will be divided proportionally among the nonprofits according to the degree of support they receive.

Swanson said the BLT is planning an $18,000 renovation that will spruce up the theater’s facade, including new siding, new doors and repairs to deteriorating areas.

It would be the first significant renovation to the 1947 movie theater since 1994, she said.

The Bellevue Little Theatre, like the other participating nonprofits, will have its own donation page at where donors may choose the amount they wish to give.

Donations are fully tax deductible, and donors will receive an email confirming their gift.

Anonymous donors will also receive a tax receipt.

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