This guest article also appeared in the November 21, 2018 edition of the Lamoni Chronicle.
Graceland Enactus Fundraiser Reaches Dinner Theater Goal
By Regan Jackson
On Saturday night, Lamoni citizens and Graceland students alike turned out to the Coliseum for the second Variety Show. Put on by the Graceland Enactus Foundations Team, the singing, dancing, and theater acts lit up the stage, despite the snowy weather outside. For many, this was one of the first live acts they had experienced in the local theater.
Acts included Lamoni native Daryn Nowlin, singing with a talented band composed of Jack Ergo on piano, Robby Donarski playing bass, and Matt Moore on the drums. Daryn was joined by her talented “Ghost” co-star from the Graceland musical, Ashly Elliott.
Other acts included impressive improvisations from violinist Mariah Mann, pianist Mara Palmer, and drummer Matt Moore.
Dancer Nicole Fry gave a powerful performance, and the Graceland Polynesian Club filled the stage with a warm breeze from Hawaii. The ever-talented Tracy Salter took the stage with Daryn and Ashly for an improvisation game, and afterward singer Regan Jackson joined her co-project manager, Robby Donarski for a closing jazz piece.
However, the Variety Show was not just for fun. For the last couple years, the Foundations team has been working hard to fundraise for a dinner theater. Many years ago, the Carr family had the vision to build a dinner theater in the balcony of the Coliseum, a way to bring a new experience to a historic building.
Enactus project managers Dylan Pitt and Courtney Brummett started in on this mission in the fall of 2016, and the scope has grown year by year. In the past year, funds grew from just under $4,000 to around $12,000, leaving the project just shy of its monetary goal of $17,000. Responding to the call throughout the night, generous donors exceeded the total goal, raising over $4,500 in just two hours!