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Trust donates $25K for the Haven for addition of Marquee Room

The executive director of the Brookhaven Little Theatre accepted a check for $25,000 Thursday night that was big in size and generosity.

The check — that took three people to hold — was presented by members of the Brookhaven Trust and will be used to renovate the Marquee Room. That room, located in the dilapidated historic building next door to the iconic Brookhaven landmark, is barely suitable for the storage space that it’s used for now. BLT would like to use it for artist and actor workshops and include a handicapped-accessible restroom.

Waterloo said a rough estimate by experts for the work to be done is about $300,000 to $500,000.The $25,000 came from the Taste of the Trust event held in November.

“We want to thank everybody who donated items for the auction and all the restaurants that came,” said Mary White, president of the Brookhaven Trust.

White said about 400 people attended the event, which was held at the Ole Towne Church. More than a dozen restaurants provided specialty food items. Guests were entertained by The Tyler Bridge Band and had a chance to bid on more than 100 auction items during the 3 one-half hour event.

White said Brookhaven Trust recognizes the value of what BLT and The Haven bring to downtown Brookhaven.

“The (Brookhaven) Little Theatre is such a great thing that the community has,” she said. “This was the first time we’ve dedicated the entire amount raised to one project, but we thought this was worthy of the whole donation.”

Waterloo said the space to be renovated looks fine from the sidewalk. Art is showcased behind the large windows. “But behind that space is a deteriorating historic building,” she said.

Eventually, they hope to use the space as a rehearsal hall and a place for art galleries. “We hope to host artist and actor workshops there,” Waterloo said. “It’s a huge project to be broken into smaller pieces.”

BLT board members are writing grants to add to the Trust’s donations. They’d like to start on the projects this year, Waterloo said.

Donations are welcome. For information, call 601-990-2243.

The Brookhaven Trust was founded in 1991 by a group of individuals committed to preserving the city’s heritage and promoting cultural events in the community. Recent projects include assisting with facade updates for Betty’s Eat Shop and Fred’s and assisting with the installation of rooftop lights downtown. Upcoming projects include assisting with a sign for The Inez. The Trust also supports the Mississippi Scholars program financially.

The group meets four times a year and hosts one fundraising event, the Taste of Trust in November. For more information, email maryphillipswhite@gmail.com.