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Dunham Fund pledges $250K grant to Paramount Theatre, RiverEdge Park

'Cats' will be one musicals be staged Paramount Theatre Auroras part its 2014-15 Broadway series.  |  File

'Cats' will be one of the musicals to be staged at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora as part of its 2014-15 Broadway series. | File

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Updated: February 28, 2014 5:30PM

AURORA – The Dunham Fund has pledged a $250,000 challenge grant to the Aurora Civic Center Authority, officials announced Friday.

The money will be awarded to the two Aurora venues ACCA oversees, the Paramount Broadway Series and RiverEdge Park, if ACCA can also raise an additional $250,000.

“This dollar-for-dollar challenge grant is meant to encourage philanthropic support from other corporations and foundations for both venues,” said Vicki Morcos, partnership officer at the Dunham Fund. “We are also offering our assistance to help meet this challenge by actively engaging outside support for the arts in Aurora.”

The Paramount is already part of the way to its $250,000 matching goal. Nicholette Rossi, a market president with BMO Harris Bank, announced Friday the bank will contribute $50,000 to sponsor the Paramount’s Broadway series. Barry Finn, president and CEO of Rush-Copley Medical Center, also confirmed the medical center will commit $35,000 to sponsor RiverEdge Park’s Blues of the Fox Festival June 27-28.

ACCA Executive Director Tim Rater said so much has happened with both venues so quickly.

“Next season, we will present over 200 performances annually to an estimated audience of more than 200,000,” he said. “Today, the Dunham Fund, BMO Harris and Rush-Copley Medical Center all challenged other potential sponsors to step up and get behind the obvious economic and social impact the performing arts are having on downtown Aurora.”

Rater said he expects to announce RiverEdge Park’s season at the beginning of May.

The Dunham Fund is the largest private foundation in the greater Aurora area.

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