ST. GEORGE — The Roene B. DiFiore Center for Arts and Education in St. George is “behind the eight ball” facing thousands of dollars in repairs after a broken waterline flooded the center and grounds in early July. The community has stepped forward to help the art center recover, contributing funds since the flooding occurred and on Aug. 8 a fundraising event is expected to further help the center.
After 18 years, the Utah Jazz Quintet will be reuniting at the DiFiore Center for the “Behind the ‘8’ Ball” fundraiser, Ernie Doose, executive director at the DiFiore Center said.
“As musicians, we share a goal to help preserve jazz music, and this is one way to do just that, while raising funds for an organization that shares that same goal,” Carlyle Potter, founding Utah Jazz member and event organizer as quoted on the DiFiore Center’s website.
The theme of the event, “Behind the ‘8’ Ball,” refers to a billiards metaphor meaning a player is about to lose the game. Details of the event will play on that theme. For instance, the reunion concert will be held at 8:08 p.m.; tickets will be sold for $8.88 each; the concert will last 88 minutes; and Mami Hope, renowned jazz pianist, has agreed to play all 88 keys on her keyboard during at least one number.
“Seriously though, in many cultures the number eight is considered lucky and attracts wealth,” Potter said as quoted on the DiFiore Center’s website, “and the DiFiore Center definitely needs extra money these days.”
The 63-year-old historic home built by Orval and Ruth Hafen, is now the Roene B. DiFiore Center for Arts and Education in St. George.
In early July, a main waterline in the rose garden burst and caused flooding, Doose said. The old galvanized pipes had to be replaced throughout the entire house. The plumber had to jackhammer through the sidewalks in the rose garden and dig from the meter up through foundation of the house, Doose said.
As a result, the DiFiore Center is facing thousands of dollars in repairs, Doose said. The new waterline, sidewalks and landscaping will cost the art center nearly $15,000.
“When you are a nonprofit organization you have to depend on donations,” Doose said. “And when you are facing a bill around $12,000 to $15,000 it’s like OK, what do we do? Do we give up?”
Luckily, the art center did not have to close or cancel any events when the damage happened. The center was without water for about 10 days, Doose said. No restrooms or running water.
“Just a little inconvenience for a couple weeks,” he said.
The DiFiore Center reached out to the community for help in raising money to repair the damage. The City of St. George, friends and the surrounding communities have stepped forward and have made tremendous contributions to help the center, Doose said.
In the last three weeks, the center has raised just over $9,000, Doose said Tuesday.
“It’s amazing,” Doose said, “they know that the DiFiore Center is so important to the community and has become such an art hub of the community.”
The new waterline has already been replaced, the sidewalks and landscaping are expected to be repaired mid-August, Doose said. The center is still in need of $5,000 to $6,000 to pay the repair bills.
Tickets for the fundraising event can be purchased via tax-deductible donation to the DiFiore Center website or by calling 435-673-4206. The purchased tickets will be held at will call. There will be no tickets sold at the door the night of the event.
- What: Fundraising event
- When: Saturday, August 8 at 8:08 p.m.
- Where: The DiFiore Center: 307 N. Main St., St. George
- Purchase tickets online or call 435-673-4206
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