Northport — On July 31 co-owners of the John W. Engeman Theater Richard T. Dolce and Kevin J. O’Neill presented a check to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, kicking off a capital campaign to rebuild the church bell tower, restore several stained glass windows and repair some of the building’s restrooms.
The goal of the capital campaign is to raise a total of $250,000 to $300,000 to support the costs of the repairs and restorations.
“Everything that we take in we use in some way, shape or form to support the community, to support ministries and missions out into the world, and to provide a facility,” said Pastor Kristina Hansen. “We are more than just a facility; our church is a home to Northport groups and organizations as well as our worshipping community.”
Since the first church was built at its current location in 1852, it has undergone several changes, including the construction of a new sanctuary in 1873 and the addition of a large education building in 1931-32.
Theater owners Dolce and O’Neill feel that the church is a landmark on Main Street. “It’s a beautiful structure,” said O’Neill, “And it’s part of what I think makes Main Street, Main Street.”
The John W. Engeman Theater has committed to donating a total of $25,000 in support of the capital campaign, which will be paid to the church over a period of three years.
“Our affinity for the arts naturally led us to come to the Engeman first, and we’re really overwhelmed with how generous and how immediate the response has been, “said Pastor Hansen. “It just continues to affirm that sense of community that Northport offers.”
In its 10 years of operation, the Engeman has raised funds for a wide variety of causes, including the American Red Cross and the Hurricane Sandy Relief effort, the First Presbyterian Church of Northport, the Ecumenical Lay Council Food Pantry of Northport and the Huntington Light House Preservation Society. The donation to St. Paul’s capital campaign fulfills the theater’s ongoing commitment to supporting local organizations and the community.
“We feel very, very strongly that this community is our home, and we want to do everything we can to strengthen it,” said O’Neill. “We hope that others within the village will participate to support this grand structure and contribute to the campaign.” To learn how to contribute to the capital campaign, visit www.EngemanTheater.com/Donate.