Across the Pond concert benefits Memorial Auditorium air conditioning project

Across the Pond sings at Memorial Auditorium this weekend.

by Amber Schmitz, Sumner Newscow —  In order to raise funds to air condition the Memorial Auditorium in the future, the board has been planning events and concerts, with the help of the Chamber of Commerce, the Wellington Recreation Commission, and board member and event organizer Mark Green.

“We are trying to raise money to get air conditioning, and that’s going to benefit the facility and community, and we’re also trying to have a wide variety of entertainment for different tastes to enjoy. We are trying to not only look at music, but other events, and we’re trying to hit all genres of music and different activities.”

Across the Pond, a British Invasion tribute band from Wichita, performed Saturday night, with a portion of ticket sales going toward the project. Concessions were sold by the Wellington Recreation, and the auditorium board sold beer, with all proceeds going toward the project.

“Mark Green has been a huge help with ticket sales,” Jones said.

Joseph Hall, an Elvis Presley tribute artist, performed Saturday, Sept. 30, with his “Elvis: Rock and Remember” concert, which was a success. Concessions and beer were sold during this concert as well to help fund the project.

Across the Pond was well received by those in attendance, as they performed songs such as “Henry The VII I Am” by Herman’s Hermits, “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream, many Beatles songs, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” and many other classic favorites.

“It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t a better turn out,” said Jeremy Jones, Wellington Director of Public Works. “I know it’s going to take a little time to get everyone to remember, but we always have good people here, and we’re trying to consistently put on quality entertainment.”

Jones said that the air conditioning project was in planning stages during the ADA compliance remodeling project, but adequate funds weren’t available to include it. At the time, it was going to cost approximately $250,000-$300,000 to air condition the facility, and costs have more than likely gone up since that time period.

Currently, there is $10,400 in the air conditioning project fund. The first big event was a John Michael Montgomery concert in the auditorium a few years ago. A portion of the ticket sales, and the auditorium board’s beer sales, benefitted the start of the fundraising project. Collin Ray was another concert which assisted with fundraising.

Across the Pond played in Wellington on Saturday.

At the most recent board meeting, it was discussed to have a possible Christmas themed event in December.

“We have people looking at ideas,” Jones said. “We may not do just a concert, but have other activities with it.”

The Memorial Auditorium is a venue for many events, including weddings, class reunions, craft shows and dances.

“They have a lot of other activities going on there,” Jones said. “The Chamber and Annarose (White) have really started getting into the swing of placing things on Facebook and their website, and people can check and see what events are going on. Other organizations do fundraisers there for good causes as well and would like support.”


The board has discussed the possibility of conducting a public poll to see what the community is interested in seeing or what activities or events they would like to see happen.

“We would love to have people’s ideas,” Jones said. “If anyone has ideas, they can call the Chamber, call me at the street department, send and email or Facebook message. The Chamber is helping out a lot with that.”

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