Lacombe’s Cow Patti Theatre Company continued their commitment to the community when they handed out over $27,000 they raised during their production of The Odd Couple in late 2018.
“It was an opportunity to pass back the monies raised for them, to acknowledge our relationship and to show how grateful I am to have to use them as a voice to better our community in a wonderful happy way. There is nothing better than a full tummy and full belly-laugh,” Owner AnnaMarie Lea said.
This year, benefit recipients included the Sawyer Kiist Passion for Life Bursary, the Make a Move for Jagger Foundation, Caroline Seniors, Kasota East Camp, Bentley Library Society, The Lending Cupboard and the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre.
The commitment to community that Lea has goes way back prior to her time with Cow Patti.
“I had done benefits with the theatre company I had in the North West Territories.,” she said. “It is something I have always kind of done — even when I was a kid, I would be the one to say, “Okay, lets raise some money to buy our teacher a watch for Christmas’.”
Since starting Cow Patti, Lea and her team have managed to raise nearly $600,00 for local charities.
“Our very first show here 22 years ago — in 1997 — we did a play called Crimes of the Heart,” she said. “It is a Pulitzer Prize winning play by Beth Henley and and I wanted to raise some money. We approached the Lacombe Hospital and they were wanting to raise money for a heart monitor. That was our very first benefit with the Cow Patti Theatre Company.”
Lea expects to surpass $600,00 during Cow Patti’s upcoming production of Halfway There, written by Canadian playwright Norm Foster.
“It is such a feel-good thing,” Lea said regarding the benefit shows. “I don’t really judge my success by my bank account — in theatre you don’t do that. You truly do it for the love of it.”