Hippodrome offering free ticket with phone donation

The ticket is free with a donation and purchase of another adult ticket.

Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 at 11:22 p.m.

When getting ready for the latest play downtown, don't forget to bring your cell phone - preferably the old one stuffed in a junk drawer.

The Hippodrome State Theatre is offering one free adult admission to its latest play, "Dead Man's Cell Phone," with a donation of a used or broken cell phone and the purchase of an adult ticket. Adult tickets cost $25-$30.

The offer is good for all remaining shows; the play runs through Sunday.

The cell phones collected will benefit Peaceful Paths, a domestic abuse network that assists survivors of domestic abuse in Alachua, Bradford and Union counties.

According to Lori Anglon, outreach advocate for Peaceful Paths, she said she was very surprise by the call from the theater and loved the idea for a cell phone drive.

The organization not only sells the phones to raise money, but some of the phones can be used by clients for emergency calls. Any working phone, even without service, has the capacity to complete a 911 call.

Peaceful Paths has received as much as $40 for a single used phone in the past. While the money that comes from the cell phones is not a major part of the budget for the organization, Anglon believes that every little bit helps.

The money is used in many ways and contributes to the overall budget. It could be applied anywhere from helping a client buy a bus ticket to providing for office needs.

Jessica Hurov, marketing director for the Hippodrome State Theatre, said the play and the phone drive have been very well received. There have been about 25 free tickets given away.

Hurov said during the holiday season another charity promotion was done. The theater collected canned foods and new toys in exchange for tickets to "A Christmas Carol." The holiday benefit had a theme of giving, which Hurov said related perfectly to the play.

More than 150 pounds of food were collected and given to the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.

The pairing of a show and a charity also allows people to visit the theater more often because it makes tickets more affordable. Hurov understands that paying up to $30 per ticket is just not feasible for many people right now.

The theater staff wants sold-out shows, and the discount offered through a donation makes it possible.

Hurov noted that one of the theater's goals is making a positive impact on its Gainesville community. As the marketing director, she plans on continuing to pursue charity benefits that share a theme with future productions.

Hurov has already started looking for charities assisting veterans and the military for the theater's next play, "Defiance," which is about the armed forces. The opens on stage Feb. 26 and runs through March 21.

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