On Tuesday, hundreds of people visited the Strand Theatre in downtown Delaware to see a screening of “The Ant Bully” as part of the theatre’s “Free Summer Kids Shows.”
Since June 4, the theatre has been showing two screenings of a kids movie each Tuesday, and the price of admission for each showing is a donation of items for a variety of local organizations.
On Tuesday, Delaware City Schools sponsored the screenings of “The Ant Bully” and partnered with People In Need, Inc. (PIN) of Delaware County to collect canned goods for the food pantry.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect to the community and see our families,” said Assistant Superintendent Heidi Kegley. “We love partnering with PIN, because they do so much to provide for our families in Delaware County. It’s wonderful for us to be involved to support their giving.”
Kegley added the district selected “The Ant Bully” because of it’s anti-bullying message. She said that in the past, they’ve always selected films with a lesson they want kids to learn.
School administrators were on hand at the Strand Tuesday to collect the canned goods for PIN and greet moviegoers.
The event was one of the first in the community for incoming Assistant Superintendent Craig Heath. Heath, who is joining the district this upcoming school year, said he “loved” seeing the district partner with the community.
“I love the community partnership component of this,” Heath said. “It’s just a phenomenal event. Stepping into the community for the first time as an educator you can see the kindness, the generosity, the genuine nature of everyone is on display here today. It’s a great connection for Delaware City Schools.”
Carolyn Leasure, the PIN ambassador at the morning showing, said the event helps the entire county.
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” she said. “I think it’s great. It puts a great face on the fact that the community itself is all encompassing and is out to help those in need no matter who you are, no matter what your situation. PIN has the largest regulated food pantry in Delaware County, so this is well needed.”
Tracey Peyton, the Strand’s managing director, said the free movies and community partnerships are the theatre’s ways of giving back.
“We want to give back,” she said. “It’s giving from one generation to the next. We’re proud to continue the legacy that was started so many years ago. By giving to people that need things and by giving to those less fortunate, it makes you feel good and it’s just the right thing to do.”
Tuesday’s showings had 456 attendees, and several boxes of canned goods were donated to PIN.
Peyton said the event demonstrates the county’s giving nature.
“That says the Delaware Community has a very strong foundation in being charitable,” Peyton said. “It’s just in their blood … The kids want to donate. They want to be a part of it. In essence, we are training the next generation to be charitable and to give. That’s what this program is all about.”
The free showings over the remaining five weeks will take at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the following days:
• June 25: Manos, Martin & Pergram CO., LPA is sponsoring screenings of “The Muppets Take Manhattan” and is asking for donations to benefit Andrews House.
• July 9: Olentangy Title Agency is sponsoring screenings of “Peter Rabbit” and is asking for donations to benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Delaware County.
• July 16: An anonymous sponsor has arranged for showings of “Sherlock Gnomes” and is asking for donations to benefit Grace Clinic Delaware.
• July 23: Rosebud Properties is sponsoring showings of “E.T.” and is asking for donations to benefit Delaware Noon Kiwanis Club.
• July 30: There will be two screenings of “Minions” and donations will benefit the Delaware General Health District/WIC.
More information about screenings and donations can be found at https://www.thestrandtheatre.net/free-summer-kids-shows.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.