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A variety show for a combo of good causes

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Local acts boost Sequim Education Foundation

by MATTHEW NASH
Sequim Gazette

Some of Sequim’s best talent is coming together to help some rising stars.

The Sequim Education Foundation, a nonprofit that benefits Sequim students, teachers and schools, is hosting a Variety Show for the first time on Saturday, Feb. 11, with a number of performers from all walks of theatrical life. 

From instrumental music to singers to cloggers to trash-can drummers, organizers hope the show has a little bit of something for everyone while appealing to fans of variety shows.

Stage manager Patsy Mattingley, also a flute and piccolo player in the Sequim City Band, said they wanted a true variety.

“We’re really doing a vaudevillian variety show here,” Mattingley said.

Each performer and group will do a few numbers. As a special touch, a stagehand will walk between acts with a placard announcing the next group’s name (See sidebar for a full list of performances). Sequim dentist Bud Davies will do a ventriloquist shtick between acts, too.

The hope, Mattingley said, is to have the event annually and support the Sequim Education Foundation.
“They’re looking for different ways to entertain the community while raising funds,” she said. “This is the first try and we’ll see how the audience likes it. Keep in mind that it’s for the kids in the school district.”

Dick Hughes, president of the Sequim Education Foundation, said the Variety Show idea formed because they needed to boost donations following a low turnout from their annual solicitation letter.

Donations help with scholarships, student endowments, grants for teachers, and more. Some of the foundation’s other upcoming events include scholarships for sponsored events like the SEF Engineering Challenge on Feb. 25 and the Film Festival on April 20.

Hughes said scholarships for programs like the film festival have helped students go to college who otherwise might not have been able to attend.

“We’ve been told a lot of winners are the first ones in their family to receive scholarships and/or go to school,” he said.

An added event at the show includes the announcement of the Film Festival poster contest.

Hughes said the foundation’s budget is about $40,000 a year and if donations dip, the foundation has to cut back on events and/or giving, as in 2010 when the engineering challenge had to be cancelled. In 10 years, grants to teachers have helped with classroom projects reaching more than 24,000 students.

“As for stretching our dollars, the average dollar donation for a teacher grant benefits 3.9 kids per project,” Hughes said. 
 
For more on Sequim Education Foundation, visit www.sequimed.org.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.
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