CORNELIUS – The early days of May included significant contributions to finance the town’s planned Cain Center for the Arts.

On Friday, May 3, about 200 patrons attended a Founders’ Ball, an event to celebrate donors contributing a foundation of support for the center’s campaign. The event featured food and live entertainment and video stories showcasing the four pillars of the Cain Center’s mission: inspiration, education, community and entertainment.

The ball raised more than $660,000, with 25 new founders joining the list of individuals lending leadership and foundational support to the project.

“Our team is more confident than ever because of the incredible outpouring of support for Cain Center from community leaders and the community at large,” said Greg Wessling, president and chairman of the center’s board of directors.

On Monday, May 6, two regional organizations demonstrated support for the center’s arts education programs. The North Mecklenburg Rotary Club’s annual golf tournament, held at Northstone Country Club in Huntersville, is expected to raise more than $10,000 to support the center’s education programs.

Likewise, agents in the Davidson, Lake Norman and Huntersville offices of Allen Tate Realtors contributed nearly $8,000 to support arts education for the second year in a row.

“We chose Cain Center for the Arts to receive this grant through our Tate Cares initiative because we believe in arts education,” Allen Tate Huntersville branch leader Tracey Stehle said, “and we trust the Cain Center to make it happen in the Lake Norman region.

The North Mecklenburg Women’s Club has a long history of supporting organizations that help the region thrive, and on May 7, Cain Center for the Arts joined the ranks of club-supported causes. The club contributed $5,000 and collectively became the newest Founders’ Society member.

“We’re very excited about the continued momentum and support for this important initiative,” said Cain Center Executive Director Justin Dionne. “We’re grateful to the individuals and organizations whose early leadership will inspire even more support from across the region.”

This successful days in May pushed the campaign beyond the halfway point of its $25 million goal. Those interested in learning more about the campaign and how to help can visitcainarts.org or call 980-689-3101.

Cain Center for the Arts, when completed, will include a 400-seat theater, gallery space, an outdoor venue and classrooms. It will provide a place for national and regional performances as well as community, private, and civic events.

A $4 million bond project for redeveloping the historic downtown arts district, combined with a gift of $5 million from local philanthropists Bill and Ericka Cain, helped initiate the fundraising campaign.

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