The mood was festive at Monarch’s on the Mollengracht last night as Union Street Players gathered for their first annual Award’s night. Over 30 members, alumni and family shared a meal together before the evening’s program began.
Current USP President, Tom Vander Well, served as Master of Ceremonies. The group honored four of those present who were at the first official meeting of USP back in 1988 (Carolyn Scharff, Lisa Witzenburg, Don Graves, and USP’s first President, Bev Graves). Our community theatre has come a long way since that first meeting, producing 67 shows over 21 seasons.
The purpose of the Award’s Night was to honor three USP members who have devoted countless hours over the years to ensure our community theatre’s success.
Tom Vander Well announced that one of the first honorees, Dottie McGee, would be presented with her award at next year’s event. McGee is at home battling cancer. The group, nonetheless, honored her with a stirring ovation.
Ann Wilkinson introduced the next honoree, Pat Moriarity. Pat served as USP Treasurer for many years and, under his leadership and influence, USP has steadily built our financial stability. Thanks to Pat, USP operates "in the black." Yet, Pat’s contribution is far more than financial. Pat has kept USP oganized and operating through the years. He has produced many shows and has graced our stage with many memorable performances.
Doug DeWolf presented the final award of the evening to Arvin Van Zante. To many local theatre goers, Arvin is the face of Union Street Players. His talent on stage has been evident in the numerous roles he’s played. The larger role that Arvin has played in USP as an organization has been even more critical to our success. He served as President for many years, has produced, and directed. There is very little that Arvin hasn’t done for USP in the past 20 years.
USP’s Award Night was organized by three current board members: Cyndi Atkins, Jamie Kacur, and Doug DeWolf.