According to executive director, Matthew Schliesman, “We launched the campaign June 1, 2012 and successfully completed both the campaign and the projects the campaign funded in a year and a half. We think this is a remarkable accomplishment for this organization and this community. Reactions to the renovations and improvements have been very enthusiastic. We are grateful to all who supported this project; these are people who genuinely care about the quality of life in our community, as well as arts and culture on the Lakeshore.”

Lee Kummer, chair of the Capitol board of directors, continued, “On behalf of the CCC board of directors, volunteers, and staff I wish to thank each and very donor to our campaign. The broad base of support from the hundreds of donors is reflective of the important role the CCC plays in our community. I encourage everyone to join us for a live performance and to personally witness the beauty of the CCC.”

“As one  of the Capital campaign’s co-chairs, I want to thank all our donors for their great support and enthusiasm. The community came together and we have a newly refreshed “jewel of the lakeshore” for all to enjoy, stated Joe DiRaimondo, campaign co-chair and board member.

Paula Fox, campaign co-chair and board member continued, “The Capitol Civic Centre is much more than just another building in our community. It represents so many different age groups of people working and playing together for a common cause. It has been a privilege to meet with old friends and to make new ones while discussing the value of live performances. Working together with a group of very talented people and a generous community to restore the CCC has been one of my personal highlights of 2013!”

There are many to acknowledge and thank for their contributions to the campaign, including past board president Dr. Jack Sadowski; current board president Lee Kummer; Campaign co-chairs Dr. Joe DiRaimondo and Paula Fox; associate campaign administrator Peggy W. Pitz; the Capitol board of directors; honorary campaign chairs Mary Fordney, John Jagemann, and Garth Neustadter; facility committee chairs Craig Pauly and Peter Allie; architect and project manager Gene Maloney; general contractor Hamann Construction; the staff of the Capitol; and the many talented and dedicated people involved in bringing the renovation vision to life.

Schliesman continued, “This was a huge, long overdue undertaking for the Capitol. We are committed to taking care of this historic building and continuing our role as the anchor for performing arts on the Lakeshore. And, as opportunity presents itself, there is more we would like to do through future improvements to the Capitol for the benefit of our community.”

Peggy W. Pitz, associate campaign administrator, added, “You gave and you made the difference. The renovations are complete, the campaign goal of 1.2 million has been met and the “jewel of the lakeshore” shines once again. Thank you all for believing, donating, and your ongoing commitment to the arts, the Capitol Civic Centre and this wonderful community.  Bravo!!! Bravo!!!”

To learn more about the Capitol and see what’s coming to the stage, go online – – or call the Box Office at (920) 683-2184.


Mertens Family pledges support of "A Capitol Idea!"

The Mertens Family posing at the Capitol Civic Centre
with Executive Director Matthew Schliesman.
Pictured, left to right from front are: Scott Mertens,
Lexie Mertens, Michelle Gibeault, Bryanna Mertens,
and Matthew Schliesman.

Enthusiasm for the Capitol Civic Centre’s $1 million face-lift campaign continues to flourish. In addition to the generous support of the West Foundation and the Capitol Civic Centre Board of Directors, many individuals have pledged their financial support of the project.

The Scott Mertens family has committed their support of the Kadow Room enhancement portion of the renovation. Improvements include creating an additional entrance to the Kadow Room Museum for enhanced access. In addition, the Mertens Family’ pledge will finance Kadow Room Museum improvements; essentially, this room will benefit from an extensive renovation. These enhancements will not only be aesthetically appealing, they are a means to expand the multi-purpose accommodations of this important space, and better incorporate it into the overall lobby.

“The current efforts to restore, repair, and improve this important community treasure are proving to be quite a joyful undertaking. The Capitol touches so many lives, and contributes so meaningfully to what makes the Lakeshore a truly exceptional place to live. The staff and board are grateful for the support that is coming in from individual donors, companies, and foundations. With the momentum continuing and people jumping on-board, we look forward to achieving our fundraising goals and undertaking the actual physical projects next summer,” stated Matthew Schliesman, Executive Director, Capitol Civic Centre, Inc.

The Capitol Civic Centre campaign reaches far beyond the walls of the theatre and facilities; it is, indeed, an investment in the community.

“I have had the  opportunity to work with other organizations in various expansion and building projects. The greatest source of pride experienced comes after all is said and done and you can see how the vision to take the risk and make the investment pays off and how it betters the organization involved and betters the whole community,”  Board president John L. Sadowski stated.

Peggy W. Pitz, Capitol Campaign Associate Administrator, continued “[The Capitol] is one of many destinations that puts Manitowoc on the map… its history, offerings, and caliber of performances and performers, and the talented family of performing arts groups. The location in the heart of downtown makes it critical to the economic development not only of downtown, but to this community.”

Presently, Capitol Campaign Committee members are hosting on-stage events at the Capitol, with individuals and businesses. During the next phase of the campaign, slated to launch in November, the campaign will expand to a more broad, public approach.

For more information about the Capitol’s face-lift, or to arrange a campaign presentation with your family, business, or organization, please contact Schliesman at or (920) 686-6424.

Wisconsin Public Service Foundation Contributes $15,000 to Capitol Civic Centre

Pictured left to right: Peggy Krey, Capitol Civic Centre-
Operations Director, Peggy Pitz, Capitol Civic Centre-
Associate Campaign Manager, Dayna Watson,
Wisconsin Public Service- Community Relations Lead,
Matthew Schliesman, Capitol Civic Centre- Executive Director.

The Wisconsin Public Service Foundation has provided a $15,000 contribution to the Capitol Civic Centre.

Through the course of a year, Executive Director, Matthew Schliesman hopes to raise $1 million dollars in an effort to restore, repair and improve the facility. Multiple projects will be completed with funds raised through the campaign.  Improvements include: technical systems, safety and security upgrades, and enhancements to guest services. 

In 2012, The Wisconsin Public Service Foundation enriched deserving organizations by more than $1 million. The Foundation is a private, charitable foundation funded by shareholders of Wisconsin Public Service Corporation. Its charitable giving has no impact on electric and natural gas rates. In 2012, more than 360 associations and worthwhile causes representing interests in education, human services and health, community and neighborhood development, arts and culture, along with care for the environment received funds from the Foundation.

Brennan Seehafer Productions has made a contribution to “It’s a Capitol Idea!”.

Brennan made his presentation at a recent campaign reception after sharing
what the Capitol means to him, having grown-up on the Capitol stage. Pictured in the Capitol
lobby, front row from left are: Paula Fox, Campaign Co-chair; Brennan; Joe DiRaimondo,
Campaign Co-Chair; back row from left : Jack Sadowski, Board President; Peggy Pitz, Campaign
Administrative Associate; Matthew Schliesman, Executive Director.


Support for the Capitol Civic Centre’s $1.2 million renovation continues to grow, with more than 200 donations to date. In addition to on-stage presentations and facility tours by invitation, the public aspect of the campaign is now in full-swing. Colorful campaign pole banners line Eighth Street (from Washington to Franklin Streets) and the campaign has been promoted in print and digital outdoor, on radio and television, and with online and social media.

The campaign committee, led by Executive Director Matthew Schliesman and facilitated by Campaign Associate Administrator Peggy W. Pitz, with the support of Campaign Co-chairs Joe DiRaimondo and Paula Fox (and further support of the Board of Directors) continues to share the message of the importance of this valuable historic asset with the community.

According to Schliesman, “The fact that the community saved and restored the Capitol 26 years ago is still an amazing story. That we are now coming together to make major repairs and improvements more than a quarter century later is just common sense. The Capitol Civic Centre is an integral and vital part of this community. The technical upgrades, aesthetic repairs, and improved guest amenities will not only energize up the physical place, but add new excitement to our programming, to the downtown, and to the Lakeshore at large.”

Among the 200-plus donations and pledges by individuals, families, businesses, and foundations thus far, the first donation was presented by Manitowoc Noon Rotary and the most recent donation was presented by Brennan Seehafer Productions. For more information about “A Capitol Idea!” call Peggy W. Pitz, Associate Campaign Administrator, at (920) 686-6422.


Pictured, left to right, Executive Director, Matthew Schliesman; campaign co-chair
Joe DiRaimondo; Tom “Superman” Drill; Paula Fox, campaign co-chair; and
Capitol Board president, Lee Kummer, pose atop a Hamann Construction
flatbed in front of the Capitol marquee, with the final tally of the “Tom Drill
is Krazy for the Capitol’s campaign” Krazy Daze fundraiser. $31,693 was
raised during Krazy Daze, Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13.

It truly was “krazy fun” at the Capitol Civic Centre this past Krazy Daze weekend! Our favorite community cheerleader, Tom Drill, in Superman attire (thanks to The Mad Hatter) atop a Hamann Construction Company flatbed truck (thank you Steve and Jim) parked in front of the Capitol marquee, raised more than $31,000 for the Capitol renovation. Tom was joined on the truck by the “Capitol Secretaries” from the Jean Wolfmeyer School of Dance, Capitol Board of Directors members, and Capitol Executive Director, Matthew Schliesman. The Capitol activities, coordinated by campaign associate administrator, Peggy W. Pitz, added to the tremendous buzz in downtown Manitowoc. Visitors to the Capitol had a sneak-peak of the renovation progress in the Mertens Family Lobby/Kadow Room Museum, while enjoying popcorn, refreshments, music, and fun.

The campaign committee would like to extend sincere thanks to everyone who visited the Capitol and to those who contributed to a most worthy community cause. And, saving the best for last, a super thank you to Tom “Superman” Drill for his time and dedication; he truly is our super community hero!

For more information about Krazy Daze at the Capitol, or “It’s a Capitol Idea!”, the campaign to raise $1.2 million for the Capitol’s renovation, contact Campaign Associate Administrator, Peggy Pitz at (920) 686-6422 or


MANITOWOC, Wis. (Aug. 14, 2013) – The Capitol Civic Centre is pleased to announce the receipt of a generous $100,000 pledge from Dr. Kenneth and Amy Katz. The Katz’s support is being directed to the exterior renovations and improvements now underway.

Matthew Schliesman, executive director, stated, “The historic Capitol is being transformed in many significant ways, inside and out. The support from Dr. Kenneth and Amy Katz will go directly to offset the costs of the exterior improvements being made to the Capitol property—Seventh Street, Jay Street, and Eighth Street—our face to the community.”

In addition to the exterior renovations (windows, doors, lighting, signage, trim, and paint) in progress, the status of renovations include: plaster and paint repairs in the theater; the Kadow Room (soon to be officially the “Mertens Family Lobby/Kadow Movie Museum”) has been completely gutted and redone; the main lobby (soon to be officially the “Salutz Family Lobby”) has been opened up and concessions are being relocated there; and the loading dock has been expanded to accommodate semis and other large on and off-loading requirements. In addition, progress continues on restroom expansion and improvements; lighting, audio, and rigging installations; and security improvements.

“The renovations are on-schedule and will wrap up in a few weeks.  However, we are still seeking the funds to pay for all these repairs and improvements. This extremely generous support from Dr. and Mrs. Katz moves us meaningfully closer to our goal. The Capitol Civic Centre organization is very grateful, as should be the entire community for what this gift will allow us to do,” Schliesman continued.
To date, more than 400 donations and pledges have been received; from $5 to $200,000 in value, and from individuals, businesses, corporations, grants, and trusts, however, the Capitol campaign committee continues its work to reach the $1.2 million goal.

Schliesman continued, “It is expected that we will be able to wrap up our $1.2 million campaign in the next few months, but only if everyone does what they can to help us complete the ‘Capitol Idea’ campaign. From there we invite folks to join us in celebrating the wonderful renovations and improvements accomplished over the last few months. The phrase ‘Jewel of the Lakeshore’ has never been more accurate.”

“A Capitol Idea!” campaign donations and pledges continue throughout the construction phase of the renovation, planned to be completed in September. To donate to “A Capitol Idea!” go online – – or call Peggy W. Pitz, Associate Campaign Administrator, at (920) 686-6422.

Donation in memory of a brother

Recently, Bob Becker visited the Capitol Civic Centre and shared a touching story of his brother, Clarence Becker, Jr., who lost his life in World War ll. Bob wrote a lovely letter, which we share below, and donated to "It's a Capitol Idea" in his brother's name and on behalf of he and his remaining brothers and sisters. Thank you Bob for sharing the story of your brother and for your donation!

As with most strokes, a person finds that the memory bank is filled with holes that need a little repair. I had a minor stroke and while trying to fill a few of those holes I found myself remembering my life with a person I considered my hero. He was a a graduate of Lincoln High School, class of 1942, who had an "A" average, lettered in three sports, and I am very proud to say was my brother.

He belonged to a family of 10, eight children and two loving parents who struggled through the Depression. He had a girl friend to whom he became engaged the last day of his furlough while in the U.S. Army during WWII. That night, before leaving, he and his sweetheart attended a movie at the Capitol Theatre in Manitowoc. I remember the exact seats they sat in, as I was an usher that evening. That was the last movie at the Capitol he was able to see.

Clarence Becker, Jr., known to his family as "Junior" was an easy going person who loved sports, family, and his country. He lost his life when a Japanese plane hit the military transport ship he was on, in route to the next base where his battalion was to build their next air field -- somewhere in northern Luzon.

In his memory and on behalf of this remaining brothers and sisters, this check is donated. -- Bob Becker

Pictured are Matt Schliesman and Bob Becker, sitting in
the very seats where Bob's late brother, Clarence Becker, Jr.,
sat 71 years ago, as Bob presents a donation to the
capital renovation campaign in Clarence's memory.