Wantage resident Donna Mappa loves the theatre. She was in high school when her Gym teacher found the money to take the gym class to see the Joffrey Ballet each year, which Mappa credits with instilling a love of the performing arts in her at an early age. “ I would never have been able to attend any other way, with my parents both working two jobs,” Mappa says.
When her friend Elaine, a volunteer at the Centenary Stage Company, convinced her to attend a summer performance at the Lackland Center with her a couple years ago, Mappa was instantly “hooked.” “…Immediately!” Mappa says, ”I had such a great time.”
This past July, at another performance, Mappa bought a raffle ticket in Centenary Stage Company’s fall fundraising effort. And in December, after returning home from the CSC performance of “A Christmas Carol”, to which she also brought her neighbor’s two children, Mappa received a phone call saying that she had won the 2013 50/50 raffle and would be receiving $3150 as her part of the winnings.
“I can’t even tell you how thrilled I was because I never win anything,” exuded Mappa.
“Donna is the perfect person to win this raffle,” said CSC General Manager Catherine Rust. “I’m so excited that it was a person who has that passion for the arts, not only for herself, but the passion to introduce live performance to children.
Mappa told Rust in a recent interview that she thought the performing arts should just be a part of every child’s education. “I don’t think enough importance is placed on the arts and culture,” Mappa said. “Every child should be exposed to all facets of the arts; I’m a firm believer in that. They cut back so much all they are left with is reading writing and arithmetic. But [the arts] fill up those spaces in a child’s soul which are left empty for whatever possible reason, instead of them going and looking for those things which may not be so good for them.”
When asked what she would do with the winnings, Mappa said it would come in very handy this spring when tax time hits, and she might be able to fix her car now. Or maybe she would be able to visit her son in Colorado, whom she hasn’t seen for two years.
There should be a rule for children that you can’t move any farther away than it takes your mother to take a long weekend drive to visit you,” Mappa laughed.
Mappa said that she would continue to come to as many performances as possible. “ I have fallen in love with your Theatre and your productions ever since the first July production we came to ,” she said. “and it’s so affordable.”
“The winnings couldn’t have gone to a better person,” said Rust.
The 50/50 fall raffle was led by Centenary Stage Company board member Joanne Riley, raising over $3000 for the arts education programs of the professional theatre in residence in Hackettstown on the Centenary College campus. Mappa works in Hackettstown for local surgeon, Dr. Nazen Itani.
For more information about the Centenary Stage Company, log onto www.centenarystageco.org.