Traverse City Record-Eagle

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September 27, 2013

Oleson Foundation donates more to Manistee's theater

MANISTEE — The Oleson Foundation has committed $150,000 to restore and reopen the historic Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee, adding to its 2011 donation of $50,000 and bringing its total contribution to $200,000.

In tribute to the foundation’s generosity, the new 44-seat theater in the Vogue will be named “The Oleson Family Theatre.” The other theater will have 191 seats.

Beth Wallace, coordinator of fund development for the Vogue, said the contribution significantly adds to the $1.9 million that has been secured to pay the $2.4 million required to complete the Theatre this year. The goal is for the theater’s grand opening to take place during Manistee’s Dec. 6-8 Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend. The annual festival attract thousands to the Victorian port city.

Gerald and Frances Oleson began the Oleson Foundation in 1962 to perform “good works” in northwestern Michigan. The first Oleson’s grocery store opened in Traverse City in 1926. Now the Oleson Stores chain includes two locations in Traverse City as well as stores in Manistee, Charlevoix and Petoskey.

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