O.P.E.R.A., Inc. has kicked off a matching fund-drive aimed at raising $40,000 to help pay for reconstruction of the west half of the Opera House's north wall.
Between now and July 31, all donations to the the organization will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $20,000 by anonymous supporters.
So, if you donate $100 to the Opera House fund-drive, O.P.E.R.A. (Organization of People in Ellendale for Restoration of theArts) will receive $200.
The charitable non-profit organization kicked off its Phase I capital campaign – Building Our Future & Preserving Our Past – in September 2018 and has raised nearly a third of $560,000 needed for overall building improvements aimed at returning the historic landmark back to use.
However, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began this spring, the rear northwest wall of the building developed serious cracks.
An assessment by an architect and a structural engineer determined immediate work was needed to add support to the building's northwest corner. That work, costing more than $40,000, was completed in April.
Additional investigation of the building determined the west portion of the north wall needs to be replaced. The cost of that work has not yet been determined.
"Meanwhile, the O.P.E.R.A. Board is seeking a grant and loan from the USDA Rural Development agency, but we have no assurance we'll receive adequate funding," Justin Meidinger, executive director of O.P.E.R.A., said.
"Consequently, our annual fund-raising is going forward despite the pandemic and the associated economic issues," Meidinger said.
To contribute, mail your donation to O.P.E.R.A. at P.O. Box 334, Ellendale, ND 58436, or give online by clicking on the donate button in top menu.
O.P.E.R.A. is a charitable non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. For additional information, call 701-535-0347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org