Chillicothe Optimists hand out theatre profits to youth

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin
Those representing various youth organizations stand with their checks at Kids Count Nite Feb. 24 at Town Theatre.

For the fourth year in a row, the Chillicothe Optimist Club returned some of its profits from Town Theatre to youth.

About 30 groups split this year’s $12,000, with a ticket stub being worth $1.95 each to the groups.

Walking away with the biggest check Feb. 24 at Kids Count Nite at Town Theatre was Pearce Community Center with $1,146.47, with the Chillicothe Parent Teacher Association following shortly behind with $1,123.11.

“This year we had less tickets turned in,” Irvin Latta, Town Theater board treasurer, said about the some 6,000 ticket stubs returned.

When the Optimists bought Town Theatre a few years ago, their sights were set on using the profits generated to benefit youth programs.

All it takes is for residents to buy a ticket and give the stub to an approved youth group on the list.

Four years ago, the Optimists began with giving away $10,000, and the last three years $12,000 each.

This year the Optimists dug into reserve funds to fund a portion of the money.

Last year the theater made a profit of $41,596, Latta said, but it was not solely on the operation of the theater.

About $20,000 of that came from the digital camera fundraiser, which leaves almost $22,000 from theater operations.

After spending $12,000 for a new roof, which was needed due to leaking, the club was left with about $10,000.

“If we don’t have to pay for a roof this year, then we could have a good year, of course that depends if something else doesn’t come up,” Latta said.

Attendance still hovers around the 20,000 mark for the year, with this year at 20,072, which is less than the previous two years.

“If we could just increase attendance by five people at every show ... we’d have $13,000 more to give away to the kids,” Latta said. “The numbers are just right there at the verge.”

In seven years, the mortgage on the business will be paid off, Latta said, and then the group could really up the donation for the youth.

“We’re looking forward to the day when we can give $30,000 away to the kids,” Latta said.

Until that time, the Optimists will continue paying the bills and updating items as they can.

“We just can’t do it without the 20,000 people, our merchants who sponsor Free Fridays and the advertisements,” Latta said.

Chilli Dawgs Wrestling Club - $120.69

Rome Youth Activities - $122.663

Hair Company Kids - $130.41

IVC Cross Country Team - $147.93

Chillicothe 10U Travel Team - $147.93

Chillicothe Extreme Sports - $149.88

First Families - $161.56

Lacon Boy Scout Troop 69 - $198.54

Sparland Kids Klub - $214.11

Mossville Boy Scout Troop 50 - $227.74

Midland Middle School PTO - $241.36

Chillicothe Public Library - $241.36

Crossword Cafe - $247.20

IVC Fourth Day Sr. Retreat - $253.04

IVC High School Choir - $260.83

Nowhere to Ride - $340.63

Chillicothe Blue Devils - $360.10

IVC Band Boosters - $363.99

St. Edwards Athletic Boosters - $369.83

Chillicothe Boy Scout Troop 91 - $377.62

Weekend Snackpac - $408.76

Chillicothe JFL - $439.90

Mossville School - $517.76

Chillicothe Cub Scout Pack 91 - $546.96

St. Edwards School Parent Club - $626.76

Chillicothe Venture Crew 91 - $745.50

Henry Community Character Counts - $877.86

Chillicothe Christian Church - $889.54

Chillicothe PTA - $1,123.11

Pearce Community Center - $1,146.47

Youth organizations receiving funds