Arts and sports

Slow donations

Show some love.

Show some love.

It was nothing official or on-the-record, merely behind-the-scenes murmurs: the possibility that city revenue set aside for a renovation of the Community Center Theatre might be diverted toward the proposed Sacramento Kings arena project.

This is why California Musical Theater executive producer Richard Lewis, arts enthusiast and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg adviser Dennis Mangers and others converged at the Sacramento City Council meeting last Tuesday to squash such chatter.

During public comment on Tuesday, Lewis complimented city staff and Think Big Sacramento’s work on the arena proposal, but reminded that “there is one of those little revenue streams that we’d like to make sure goes toward the renovation of the Community Center Theater.”

Specifically, Lewis was talking about $2.7 million in hotel-tax revenue, which has been earmarked to go toward a $48 million renovation of the Community Center on L Street downtown.

“I just wanted to show them that we are still here,” Lewis told SN&R on Friday. He says he’s was encouraged by Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy and other council member’s reassurances that funding will remain intact.

Theater renovations will continue over the next three summers, during the performance off-season. (Nick Miller)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday of 2011 produced the highest sales in years. But, as the retail world recovers from the recession, local charities still wait for their stimulus plan.

“Right now, we’re very, very low. It’s like we haven’t begun,” said Sister Libby Fernandez, executive director of Loaves & Fishes. “We have 100 stockings out of the 1,000 we need. But we’re very down.” The nonprofit believes it will serve 1,000 homeless individuals on Christmas Day, since the same number came on Thanksgiving, up 200 from the previous holiday season. Its annual campaign has donors gather hygiene items in a Christmas stocking, which can cost anywhere from $10 to $20, Fernandez said.

But, since the campaign started the first week of December, the numbers have been dismal. “We’re not even halfway through,” she said. “We’re not even at a 10th of what we need.”

It’s the same story for Women Escaping a Violent Environment.

“We don’t have as many donations as we normally do,” said Julie Bornhoeft, director of development and community relations at WEAVE. “Both toys and cash donations are down this year.”

The nonprofit, which serves women and children affected by domestic violence, has received 150 donated toys so far, such as Candy Land games and Lego buckets. But WEAVE still needs 600 more toys.

Since 1990, News10’s Coats for Kids has collected coats for all ages. It technically ended on December 9, with more than 18,500 coats, less than its 25,000 goal. But one sponsor, Tri Counties Bank, extended the drive to December 17. Jodie Moreno, promotion and event director at News10, said it surpasses its goal at the very end each year. “We were about 5,000 to 6,000 coats shorter than the last year, but we fluctuate each year,” Moreno said. (Kibkabe Araya)