These shoes are made for fundraising

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:09 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

When Lorah Steiner, executive director of the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, heard about the Missouri Theatre’s new campaign effort, “Home Is Where the Art Is,” she thought the cause was worthy of some personal attention.

On Friday afternoon, Steiner conceived of a new campaign called “Save Dave’s Feet” to aid in the push to renovate and expand the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts and keep its executive director, David A. White, from wearing out too many pairs of shoes.

“Save Dave’s Feet” gives Columbia residents the opportunity to send contributions directly to the Convention and Visitors Bureau if they want to help White’s cause. Steiner figures that every $20 donated through the bureau allows White to shorten his eight-week journey one house at a time.

“We are huge champions of the theater renovation,” Steiner said. “We saw what happened with the Fox Theatre renovation in St. Louis, and if (David) can take this much of his time away from his work and his family, we can help him out.”

Since the capital campaign, which is also dedicated to renovating the theater, began in earnest in August 2006, various parts have been revealed. “Home Is Where the Art Is,” which had its kickoff Monday afternoon, is meant to bring in $500,000 as White goes door-to-door in Columbia. He is attempting to visit 25,000 homes and raise an average $20 from each stop.

Steiner’s idea started with a personal e-mail to her friends, and she hopes they will pass word along to their friends. Although it’s still early, she said she might decide to formally advertise “Save Dave’s Feet.”

“This is truly a community treasure, and it’s a community campaign,” Steiner said. “I really believe that in Columbia, a big part of getting the word out is through personal contact.”

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