Man donates $300k to Marion Cultural and Civic Center - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Man donates $300k to Marion Cultural and Civic Center

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MARION, Ill. -- One of the men who helped get the Marion Cultural and Civic Center off the ground gives thousands more after his death.

"I was blown away by the generosity," Marion Cultural and Civic Center executive director Josh Benson said. "I was also blown away by that kind of commitment to the performing arts and what this building means for the community."

Benson said he was shocked when Bracy Smith's widow gave him a check for $300,000.

Smith died in September at the age of 99.

The money was Smith's final gift to the organization he helped start.

"Bracy Smith was a longtime supporter of the Marion Cultural and Civic Center," Benson said. "During the construction of the facility, he gave over $50,000 in the fundraising effort for that."

Benson said the money will go towards new lighting and production equipment, something that'll help the Marion CCC save money.

"(The current lights) take a lot of energy and a lot of electricity. They're also old fixtures," Benson said. "The new ones will give us a 75 percent savings on the electricity it takes to run production."

Benson believes the improvements will help bring in bigger acts, something he said Smith would love to see.

If you're interested in donating to the Marion Cultural and Civic Center, call the main office at (618) 997-4030.

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