By Julia Limmer
John W. Engeman Theater co-owners Richard T. Dolce and Kevin J. O’Neill recently announced a $25,000 donation to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church to kick off the church’s capital campaign.
The donation is part of the theater’s continued effort and commitment to support the local community and its organizations.
O’Neill said the church is a landmark in Northport, adding that “it’s a beautiful structure” that helps make Main Street what it is today.
St. Paul’s has stood at 270 Main Street since 1852. Its capital campaign will raise money to rebuild the church bell tower, restore several stained glass windows and revamp some of the buildings restrooms. The campaign has a fundraising goal of $250,000 to $300,000.
The 165-year-old church has undergone several changes since its inception, including construction of a new sanctuary in 1873 and the addition of a large education building in 1931-32.
Dolce and O’Neill announced the $25,000 pledge on July 31. Funds will be paid to the church over a three year period. In addition, O’Neill committed to help spread the word about the campaign through the theater’s website and email blasts.
“Our affinity for the arts naturally led us to come to the Engeman first, and we’re really overwhelmed with how generous and how immediate the response has been,“ Kristina Hansen, pastor at St. Paul’s, said. “It just continues to affirm that sense of community that Northport offers.”
In the decade that the theater has had its doors open, it has raised or directly contributed around $1.25 million. Charities include the Ecumenical Lay Council Food Pantry run by the First Presbyterian Church, the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, and even the Northport High School Performing Arts Department.
“We feel very, very strongly that this community is our home, and we want to do everything we can to strengthen it,” said O’Neill. “We hope that others within the village will participate to support this grand structure and contribute to the campaign.”
To make a donation to St. Paul’s capital campaign, visit Engemantheater.com/donate/.