Ellendale Opera House fund drive exceeds goal
More than $84,000 was raised.
ELLENDALE, N.D. — Thanks to a flurry of year-end donations, the Ellendale Opera House "All-In, All-School Fund Drive" exceeded its goal, raising more than $84,000 — $14,000 more than the fund drive goal — for restoration work on the historic Main Street landmark.
The fund drive provided a dollar-for-dollar match for contributions from existing donors up to a total of $20,000, and a 2-for-1 match for contributions from new donors up to a total of $10,000.
During the final two months of the fund drive, anonymous supporters expanded the double-match incentive to apply to any contributions from new or existing donors.
A total of $44,532 was donated by new and existing donors. With the matching funds, the Ellendale Opera House will receive a total of $84,532 for the ongoing building renovation work.
Because of the success of fund drives in recent years, the opera house has been able to make significant investments to bring the 114-year-old building back to full use by the community.
Those improvements include:
- During 2019-2020, the west half of the north wall was rebuilt with the help of a $150,000 loan and $50,000 grant from U.S.D.A. Rural Development.
- During 2021, a new ADA-compliant rear entrance and parking area were completed with the help of a $10,000 matching grant from North Dakota Tourism. The building gutters and downspouts were rebuilt last year to provide better drainage of rainfall runoff.
- A comprehensive electrical upgrade planned for 2022 was delayed by supply chain issues affecting delivery of needed electrical equipment. The $60,000 project is now scheduled for completion this year.
O.P.E.R.A., Inc. – the non-profit charitable organization that operates the opera house – recently was awarded a matching $25,000 grant from the North Dakota State Historical Society. That grant will help fund repairs to the west foundation and replacement of the sidewalk along the west side of the building.
O.P.E.R.A., a nonprofit, was formed in 1992 to save the building from the wrecking ball. A six-member volunteer board oversees the opera house operation.
To contribute to O.P.E.R.A., mail donations to P.O. Box 334, Ellendale, ND 58436, or donate online at: www.ellendaleoperahouse.com. For additional information or to volunteer to help O.P.E.R.A., call 701-535-0347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.