Clayton fundraising a win for the community


We have an ongoing conversation in our office that one of the benefits of our line of work is that we get to see a finished product each and every week. Unlike many jobs, we have something tangible to look at — to see how we did, and what we need to work on to do better for our readers and advertisers.

One amazingly endearing quality this community has is its collective spirit of giving. Numerous organizations and individuals volunteer their sweat, time and money to help others who might need a hand, be it for financial or medical reasons. These efforts often make a huge difference in people’s lives, even if you can’t always see that visible proof easily.

That being said, sometimes you can. Take Justin’s Beach House, for instance. Or new and improved libraries. Or wheelchair ramps and other tools for those who need assistance around our area. Many of these accomplishments came through fundraising and awareness efforts orchestrated and performed by volunteers in this community.

And now you can add the continued service of the Clayton Theatre to that list.

Facing a shutdown because the theater needed a costly new projector to keep up with technology in the film industry, many in our area rolled up their sleeves to help keep the Clayton up and running. Sandie Hancock Gerken wrote a book on the theater’s history to raise funds. Different businesses in the area have sponsored movie nights to generate money, and others have simply made donations.

“It has been a great year for the theater — everybody’s generosity, coming together and helping us to raise the money,” said Joanne Howe, who owns the theater.

The conversion to digital media for the Clayton was expected to cost between $75,000 and $100,000 to happen. Howe said last week the Clayton is now about $5,000 short of that goal, and she is already in preparation to make the change and get their resident projectionist the training he will need to make it a reality.The Clayton Theatre will continue to welcome visitors to Dagsboro with its famous marquee, and people will continue to have a local place steeped in history to go watch a movie for an affordable price. Thanks to many of you.