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Claremont sets stage at Shelton Park

The Village was alive with the sound of music on Sunday, November 23 as over 200 philanthropists and supporters gathered for a ground breaking and fundraiser for the new Claremont Lincoln University Performance Stage at Shelton Park.

For a $35 donation, guests dined on Baja fish tacos, Gorgonzola burger sliders and Mediterranean salad provided by Bardot, participated in a silent and live auction, and enjoyed top notch entertainment by the Bear Brass Band on a perfect sunny autumn day.

Diana Miller, instrumental in the Shelton Park project, took to the microphone and thanked city staff, the Claremont Chamber of Commerce, the Village Marketing Group and citizens of Claremont for making the performance stage a reality.

“This stage represents another in a series of projects that our folks take to their hearts and support with their contributions and hard work,” said Ms. Miller. “To those of you who have given, we thank you and we look forward to this stage being a space used by the Claremont community in perpetuity.”

Pomona College President David Oxtoby echoed her sentiments.

“It’s a great connection between town and gown, between the colleges and the community,” said Mr. Oxtoby. “We’re so excited about this project. The stage, when completed, will be a great opportunity for our students and our faculty to connect with the community as well. Pomona College has a had a deep and longstanding commitment to the arts and this will be a wonderful continuation of that commitment in partnership with the community.”

In October 2014, the Claremont City Council unanimously accepted a generous donation from Claremont Lincoln University, adding to the major donations from Pomona College and Claremont Community Foundation as well as donations from the community bringing the current total $261,026, very close to the goal of $275,000.

David Lincoln, founding member of Claremont Lincoln University, also attended the event and shared is enthusiasm with the audience.

“We’re the new kid on the block and its an honor and privilege to be able to support something in the city of Claremont,“ said Mr. Lincoln. “We thank the city and the Claremont Chamber of Commerce for that. It’s going to a very lovely stage.”

On behalf of the city, Mayor Joe Lyons presented the Claremont Chamber of Commerce Village Marketing Group with a certificate of recognition of the groundbreaking.

With golden shovels in hand, David Lincoln, Eileen Aranda, Laura Burgis, Corey Calaycay, Maureen Aldridge, Joe Lyons and Paul Wheeler donned yellow hardhats and broke ground at Shelton Park.

Following the official ceremony, performers from the Inland Valley Repertory Theatre and Ophelia’s Jump took to a temporary stage, providing guests with a preview of what’s to come on the northeast corner of Bonita and Harvard Avenue.

“It’s going to be a great unprogrammed space where you can play bongos, sing to your girlfriend or watch college kids recite poetry,” said lead architect Paul Wheeler who coordinated the project. “Claremont is blessed.”

Construction is scheduled to begin early next year and donations are still being accepted.

For $1,000 or more, donors can have a brick with their name engraved on it
on the rise between the steps up to the stage. For donations less than $1000 and more than $100, their name will be engraved on a brick that will be on the floor/ground of the park leading up to the steps of the stage.

For more information, please visit www.sheltonparkstage.com.

—Angela Bailey

news@claremont-courier.com