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Springfield Landmarks and Preservation Trust President Dave Roling, left, is seen here with Michael Owens, Gillioz director of theater operations, who is currently the only full-time employee of the theater.
Springfield Landmarks and Preservation Trust President Dave Roling, left, is seen here with Michael Owens, Gillioz director of theater operations, who is currently the only full-time employee of the theater.

Gillioz officials lay out fundraising goals

Posted online
Last edited 11 a.m., Dec. 16, 2010

Half a million dollars in two weeks. That's the fundraising goal put forward by the Springfield Landmarks and Preservation Trust to save the Gillioz Theatre.

The trust needs $3.5 million by Dec. 31 to keep the Gillioz and the adjacent Netters Building from being foreclosed upon by note holder Guaranty Bank. With roughly $3 million guaranteed by an anonymous donor, theater officials are scrambling for public dollars.

Springfield Landmarks and Preservation Trust President Dave Roling, along with former President Nancy Brown Dornan; Rusty Worley, Urban Districts Alliance Executive Director; and members of the trust board and Gillioz team, held a news conference Dec. 15 at the Gillioz Jim D. Morris Auditorium to address details of the foreclosure notice served by the bank Dec. 11.

Roling declined to name the benefactor who has stepped up to provide a donation to keep the buildings from foreclosure but said a community response of $500,000 to $750,000 could keep the Gillioz afloat.

"If we were successful in raising half a million dollars, I believe that we have the entrepreneurial skills to accomplish (the task)," Roling said.

He said he is hopeful that the community would come through in the limited time provided.

"The community has a very warm place in its heart for the Gillioz," Roling said.

In a phone interview with Springfield Business Journal Dec. 16, Roling said Guaranty has been patient and helpful, even going so far as to make trips itself to Jefferson City to help the trust receive state tax credits for the deficit.

"We've worked together in that effort to no avail," he said.

He noted that the trust and the bank have worked cooperatively for the last six to nine months in an effort to find a solution to the Gillioz' impending debt. Gillioz officials were extended an extra three months in September to allow the trust to come up with the money, he said.

Donations can be made via the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, 425 E. Trafficway. They also can be made on the CFO Web site by identifying the funding program as "Save the Gillioz."

A donation link also will be placed on the Gillioz Web site, with weekly progress reports to be issued.
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