SUPPORTING SHOWBIZ

Ron '59–'65M and Kate '60 Conard with Mike Love (left) and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys.

Ron '59–'65M and Kate '60 Conard with Mike Love (left) and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys.

Maxine and William Gindlesperger with Johnny Rivers (center).

Maxine and William Gindlesperger with Johnny Rivers (center).

Ten years ago, Kate Conard ’60 said enough is enough—she and husband Ron ’59–’65m were involved into too many projects.

But when Leslie Folmer Clinton, director of Ship’s highly anticipated performing arts center, asked the Conards to be involved in this project, Kate didn’t hesitate to say yes. “I was thrilled to be asked,” Kate said.

The Conards are just two of many Circle of Friends members whose financial support has helped the Luhrs Performing Arts Center reach its milestone tenth anniversary season. Their love for both Ship and the arts made the membership an easy decision.

“The sight and sound are great because (Luhrs Center) is a state-of-the-art facility,” Ron said. “The facility is remarkable. So many artists comment on the treatment by the staff, the food prepared for them, and the facility.”

William Gindlesperger also has been a Circle of Friends member nearly since the Luhrs Center opened. “We like the variety of shows that give us the opportunity to see different performances and artists in a wonderful venue.”

“Without a doubt, it’s a gem. It has become part of our social fiber, to the extent that I think it’s become one of the main attractions in the area,”

Before the Luhrs Center opened, Gindlesperger said he had to travel to Washington, DC, or New York for shows. Although he still goes to the city occasionally, he’s now able to see the same quality performances closer to home.

“Without a doubt, it’s a gem. It has become part of our social fiber, to the extent that I think it’s become one of the main attractions in the area,” he said.

The Conards were longtime supporters of Hershey Theatre before the Luhrs Center opened. The stately venue brought in the musicals that Kate loved, but the convenience, comfort, and variety of shows offered at Luhrs were unbeatable.

“Leslie has done a great job,” Ron said. “In general, she has something for everybody.”

Gindlesperger described the staff as sharp, professional, and personal. “The theater is not the building. The building is beautiful, but it’s not the theater,” he said. “It’s the people who run the theater who make it shine. That speaks volumes to Leslie.”

It’s through the strong support of Circle of Friends members that the Luhrs Center is able to provide and maintain its level of entertainment, Clinton said. “The university relies on the private financial support of Circle of Friends members to make it possible for the Luhrs Center to offer such exceptional programming,” she said. “These memberships will help us work toward promoting another decade of world-class performances right here, in the heart of Pennsylvania.”

As thanks for their support, Circle of Friends members receive benefits such as priority ticket ordering, VIP parking, and the opportunity to meet and greet artists. To learn more about becoming a Circle of Friends member, visit luhrscenter.com.