Brevard County Philanthropists Donate $500,000 to Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse
By Space Coast Daily // December 6, 2017
funds for for facility restoration and renovation
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA VILLIAGE, FLORIDA – Mike and Rashmi Shah, and Tom and Susie Wasdin, recently donated a combined gift of $500,000 to The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse to be used for restoration and renovation of the newly acquired historic Rembert Building, adjacent to the Playhouse.
According to both couples, their philanthropic spirit towards the Playhouse comes from wanting to support an organization which will be operational in Brevard, for years to come.
“This Playhouse is so good for our community; for our children and grandchildren,” said Mike Shah, president of Southeast Petro Distributors.
The Playhouse, which has been under the direction of Anastacia Hawkins-Smith for more than 28 years, has seen a myriad of changes and expansions.
Community donations like this, from the Wasdin’s and Shahs, help support the overall mission of the Playhouse, operational needs, youth programs, productions, and events.
“The Playhouse offers invaluable programs, but especially, ‘The Stars of Tomorrow,’ said Rashmi Shah, also of Southeast Petro Distributors, and a Cocoa Village Playhouse Board Member.
“This unique youth participation platform focuses on teaching the art of life, and management skills to our children. My husband and I wanted to support an organization which invests in future generations.”
Wasdin, of Wasdin & Associates, is a member of the Cocoa Village Playhouse Board.
“Tom and I sincerely believe in the mission and future of the Playhouse,” said Susie Wasdin.
“I grew up surrounded by the arts and developed an appreciation from an early age. The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse has made great strides in lifelong education through the performing arts, while delivering quality productions to the residents of Brevard County.”
The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse serves more than 55,000 audience viewers each year with a standing cast of more than 600 volunteer performers, artists, technicians and ushers that give more 200,000 accredited community service hours each year.
“We are honored to receive this gift from the Wasdin’s and the Shahs,” said Hawkins-Smith.
“Their contributions will not only provide the foundation we need to launch the Capital Campaign in 2018, but also provide the platform to apply for matching grants through the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and Historic Preservation.”
The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse provides affordable community theatre while also promoting lifelong education in the performing arts for Brevard County residents and visitors.
With its organization of local performers and technical staff, the Playhouse’s full line-up of Broadway Musicals has earned it the nickname “Broadway on Brevard.”
“This new building will also revolutionize the way theatre is presented at the Playhouse,” added Susie Wasdin. “I have been involved in the expansion and planning, and extremely excited about its possibilities.”
For more information on The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse, or Broadway on Brevard season, go to CocoaVillagePlayhouse.com, or contact the box office, at 321-636-5050.
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