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Political drama: Lawmakers boost NT community theater with casino funds

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Wed, Oct 7th 2015 03:00 pm
Niagara County Legislators Randy R. Bradt, left, and Kathryn L. Lance, right, flank playwright and director L. Don Swartz and Ghostlight Theatre board member Joann V. Mis at a formal check presentation in front of a new set of stairs constructed as part of accessibility upgrades funded through the county's share of Seneca Niagara Casino slot revenues, while young theater players look on.
Niagara County Legislators Randy R. Bradt, left, and Kathryn L. Lance, right, flank playwright and director L. Don Swartz and Ghostlight Theatre board member Joann V. Mis at a formal check presentation in front of a new set of stairs constructed as part of accessibility upgrades funded through the county's share of Seneca Niagara Casino slot revenues, while young theater players look on.

By Christian W. Peck

Public Information Officer

Niagara County Public Information Office

The Ghostlight Theatre Inc. recently welcomed county lawmakers from North Tonawanda to show them accessibility upgrades that had been made to their theater facility thanks to an infusion of county casino funds. 

The funding, a $6,000 grant that made the facility renovations possible, was shepherded through county government by legislators Randy R. Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, Kathryn L. Lance, R-Wheatfield and Rich Andres, R-North Tonawanda. It comes from Niagara County's share of Seneca Niagara Casino revenues, monies provided to the county as compensation for the costs associated with playing host to a casino operation.

"Community theater is an asset that increases North Tonawanda's appeal as a bedroom community and provides a positive outlet for youth," Bradt explained. "NT is a great place to live, but part of the reason that's true is that we go out of our way to have safe, leadership-developing activities for our kids."

Bradt, Lance and Andres have obtained casino funds for various North Tonawanda athletic groups, part of what Lance called "a conscious effort to invest in the next generation."

The funding was largely used to repair and improve access from the street to the building's entrance.

Playwright and director L. Don Swartz noted, "This funding went straight into improving our accessibility. We want to as many of our neighbors as possible to have access to the arts."

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