Anonymous Donor Steps In After Copper Thieves Hit Community Theater

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The Wichita Community Theater is preparing for its final show of the summer season and although they plan to end the season on a high note, they were the victims of some unexpected drama last month. Thieves tore apart one of their air conditioning units in search of copper.

A theater board member tells us they had to fix the AC immediately, but the deductible alone would cost them almost as much as it does to put on one of their plays.

The community theater is all volunteer and all their money comes from donations and ticket sales. The budget for most plays is about 1200 dollars.

Last month, Mary Lou Phipps-Winfrey says they knew something was wrong when the temperature inside the building kept rising. When they checked outside, she says they found one of their AC units in pieces.

"Anyone who has had this happen, everything is torn off of it and then you realize, oh copper,” Phipps-Winfrey said.

"It was just a bit disappointing, disheartening that someone knows we're a community theater and we don't have much money to replace things like that,” Kevin Sowers said.

The theater needed to raise $1,000 to fix the AC unit and they needed it quickly. So they reached out to donors online through

"If 100 people could donate ten dollars then we would be able to pay for our deductible. Within half an hour some anonymous donor donated a thousand dollars. You just don't realize how wonderful people are sometimes and it was wonderful,” Phipps-Winfrey said.

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