KEARNEY — Saving The World can seem like a daunting and overwhelming mountain to climb, but eight years ago that is exactly what we set out to accomplish. I was fortunate enough to be a part of this “crazy” idea to raise more than $1 million to help renovate The World Theatre in downtown Kearney.

The World is a special place and always has been for so many people. I remember watching “Goonies” there as a kid, and absolutely falling in love with the movie-going experience.

Jon Bokenkamp approached me about creating an old-school haunted house in The World to help raise money for the “Save the World” campaign, and almost instantly the wheels started turning. We concocted this crazy idea about a missing person, Rick Cooper (aka Bryce Jensen), and filmed little movies about “The Haunting/Candlelight Ghost Tours.” It was really a magical experience, even in some small way, to breathe some life back into the old dusty building. We had no idea if anyone would show up to our little haunted house, but on opening night we were packed. Quite frankly, we were overwhelmed. We were a big hit with the public and the local fire marshal.

By the end of the run, we had raised more than $15,000 for The World. More importantly, we had helped to create an atmosphere that people loved.

I’m so proud to be a small (miniscule) part of such an incredible project. We had big dreams when we started this project, and they included a version of the balcony project. I would strongly encourage you to dig in couch cushions, find some change and give generously. Let’s help Kearney continue to be out front, leading the innovative pack, when it comes to The Arts.

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