ENDICOTT (WBNG) — One Endicott man is already celebrating the season of giving, by helping the Endicott Performing Arts Center (EPAC) with a large donation.
“It’s like an early Christmas present,” said EPAC Executive Artistic Director Patrick Foti.
But this time, it isn’t Santa Claus giving out gifts.
Bob Corwin was born and raised in Endicott, but EPAC is truly his home.
“I always had a dream of someday having some impact on Washington Ave.,” said Corwin.
Corwin bought the building where EPAC currently is, back in the 1990’s, when it was called the Lyric Theater.
He is no longer an owner of EPAC, but even after selling it, he’s helped it grow by buying a house right behind the theater on Madison Avenue.
“Then I got interested in it from a realty stand point and that building was for sale and EPAC really needed to have some storage space and that so I wound up buying Madison Avenue,” said Corwin.
Corwin ended up selling that house as well.
Although he sold the Madison Avenue property to EPAC, he was still an involved visitor to the theater.
“I came to the 20th anniversary. And it was such a fantastic show and I was always impressed with how the children became adults and grew up to become really great in the performing arts,” said Corwin.
And he has been impressed with it’s progress.
“Oh! Of all the things I did in my career, alright, this building stands out as number one of the things that I am the most pleased about,” said Corwin.
So just ahead of the holiday season, Corwin decided to give back to the beloved theater, and pay off the more than $10,000 mortgage of the Madison Avenue property.
“What it means to me is it’s just very satisfying that there are so many people out there who are willing to support the arts, and give to the arts, whether it be financial or physical, volunteer time,” said Foti after receiving the donation.
EPAC says now without having to pay a monthly bill, that money can be used in other places.
“Well, we can reinvest that money now whether it be into costumes, sets, or a new rigging system our marquee is going to be replaced soon, so there are a lot of good places for that to go,” said Foti.
And Corwin says it’s his way of saying thank you.
“I would like to think that it shows an example of why I did what I did, alright, and the thankfulness that I have inside me for supporting EPAC,” said Corwin. “Maybe there’s some other people out there that have some extra money for donations and they could consider supporting what I think is the number one thing that I would like to support.”
EPAC also built a large warehouse for even more storage behind the theater with a grant that was secured with help from Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo.