MARION — The Palace Cultural Arts Association (PCAA), better known to the community as the Marion Palace Theatre, was recently awarded $198,000 from two funds at Marion Community Foundation. The monies will cover most associated costs of replacing the main auditorium’s failing speaker system, amps, and wiring. The estimated total for the Palace Sound System project is $200,000.

“Marion Community Foundation is fortunate to have several endowments that support the Palace Theatre. One of those is the Palace Theatre Perpetual Care Fund created by the Marion Palace Theatre Endowment, Inc., through the guidance of John Keggan and others,” said Dean Jacob, President and CEO of Marion Community Foundation. “This fund provides essential ongoing support for capital projects at the theatre.”

Marion Palace Theatre Perpetual Care Fund, a designated fund which benefits the Palace Cultural Arts Association by providing financial support for capital improvements and major repairs of the Marion Palace Theatre, has awarded $108,000 towards the sound replacement project.

The Robert and Dorothy Wopat Community Fund at the Marion Community Foundation granted $90,000 toward the project. The Wopat Community Fund honors the memory and generosity of Robert M. & Dorothy C. Wopat, long-time residents of the Marion area, and creators of this forward-thinking fund. This endowment fund recommends grants to address a variety of community needs.

“Donations to these endowment funds, as well as creating one’s own named endowment fund, help support the ongoing needs of the Palace Theatre and are open to donations at any time by those wishing to support the Palace,” said Jacob. “Marion Community Foundation is pleased that The Perpetual Care Fund and the Bob and Dorothy Wopat Fund were able to help our community gem in a time of dire need.”

Executive Director Bev Ford shared the importance of this funding.

“We found ourselves with sound issues and loss of sound over several weeks’ time this summer. The Board approached the Endowment Board, which serves as advisors to the Perpetual Care Fund, and we requested to re-assign a grant request through Marion Community Foundation. Through the generosity of these two endowment funds and the oversight of Marion Community Foundation’s management and Board, we will have the means to replace the failing components of the sound system. This will enhance everything we present at the Palace.”

This winter, the Palace will install a state-of-the-art sound system designed by Eighth Day Sound, a subsidiary of Clair Integration, which will replace the theatre’s existing 20-year old sound structure. The innovative system will give patrons an enjoyable and elevated listening experience at the theatre.

The Marion Community Foundation has served the Marion community well. Since 1998, the organization has more than 400 named endowment funds addressing quality of life issues in Marion. More information can be found online at

Information regarding the PCAA and the Marion Palace Theatre can be found online at

Submitted story