Stage Door News

London: The Grand Theatre raises $40,000 for the London Food Bank

Monday, December 27, 2021

Grand Theatre patrons dug deep for the needy this Christmas, donating more than $40,000 to the London Food Bank.

After each performance of Home for the Holidays this month, theatregoers, as well as Grand performers, volunteers and staff, were asked to give what they could to support those facing food insecurity in the Forest City.

The result was a gift of $40,031 that will be directed to the food bank through the Business Cares food drive, the theatre said Monday.

Since 2017, the post-performance calls for cash at Christmas shows have generated a total of $340,810 for the food bank.

“The holiday season is a difficult time for many, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges Londoners are facing,” Grand executive director Deb Harvey said in a statement. “Every year, but especially in these uncertain times, we are proud to help support the . . . community through our ongoing partnership with the food bank.”

Work on a $9.5-million renovation at the Grand wrapped up in the fall, with the theatre’s doors reopening in November. The facility had to cancel its 2020-2021 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Home for the Holidays, a theatrical concert programmed and directed by artistic director Dennis Garnhum, was the Grand’s way of welcoming patrons back. It opened Dec. 3 and wrapped on Dec. 24.

The show featured performers such as Blythe Wilson, Gavin Hope, and Mark Uhre.

Harvey calls the food bank the “life blood” of the community. Jane Roy, co-executive director of the London Food Bank, called the money an “incredible contribution.”

“We are grateful for the Grand Theatre’s patrons, cast, crew, and staff, who not only supported the work of the food bank this holiday season, but demonstrated the grand difference that can be made through an inspired, collective effort,” Roy said.

By Dan Brown for

Photo: Cast of Home for the Holidays© 2021 Dahlia Katz.