At the kickoff for a drive to raise money for a new amphitheater, Carroll Community College officials said 20 percent of the project's $300,000 goal already has been raised.
"I think we've gotten off to a wonderful start," said Michael Mason, president of the board of trustees, at its monthly meeting Wednesday.
Donations by local banks and others Wednesday brought the total to $61,000 raised so far in cash and pledges. The drive is the first large project for the college's foundation, which hopes to raise the money within three years.
"The uses of this facility can be many," said Ferdinand Ruppel, president of Westminster Bank & Trust, which donated $10,000 toward the amphitheater.
"It's just a neat idea," Mr. Ruppel said.
Union National Bank and Carroll County Bank and Trust also donated $10,000 each, and First National Bank gave $2,500.
"It's something the community needs," said Joseph Beaver, president of Union National. "It should be well-used. It was easy to support."
The outdoor theater would be built into a hillside just south of the college, and be available for college and community use, such as a stage for visiting acts and bands. The county has no large outdoor auditorium, and this would fill the void, college officials have said.
Other donors who attended a premeeting dinner Wednesday included Kenneth Holniker, an Eldersburg lawyer who donated $5,000 in memory of his wife, M. Peggy Holniker. Mrs. Holniker was active in many civic and philanthropic causes in the county.
"This contribution is in remembrance of the work of [Mrs. Holniker] and her commitment to children and their education through library use," Mr. Holniker said.
The first communitywide fund-raising event will be a Dec. 30 dinner-dance to be billed as a nonalcoholic alternative to most New Year's Eve celebrations. Tickets will be $60 a person.
Faculty and staff had a silent auction and pledge drive and raised $15,000. The Student Government Organization kicked in $1,000. College President Joseph F. Shields donated $3,000 of his own. The Carroll Players, a local troupe that could use the amphitheater for productions, donated $1,200.
Other major donors are Kenneth Shook, a director of the foundation, and Haight Funeral Home, each of whom gave $1,500.
Until now, college buildings such as the $11 million library now under construction have been paid for through state and county money. The amphitheater will be the first to rely on broad community support.
"The significance and importance of it is because it is reflective of the actual mission of the community college, to be the center for education and enrichment for all the citizens of Carroll County," said John Salony III of Eldersburg, a Reisterstown banker who is chairman of the foundation.
"Based on that, the amphitheater is an excellent one to start off with. It appeals to all segments of the community," Mr. Salony said.