102415 Kara Chandler MCT-tm.jpg

Kara Chandler cuts the fabric for traveling jackets for the “Sound of Music” musical at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts on Friday. MCT Inc. announced Friday that it has reached its goal of raising $1 million.

TOMMY MARTINO, Missoulian

Yes, a million times, and a million dollars!

The "One Million Reasons to Say Yes Campaign" reached its goal of raising $1 million for MCT Inc., the Missoula Children's Theatre and Missoula Community Theatre.

"We can't thank people enough. It's going to be great. It actually secures MCT's legacy," said Michael McGill, MCT executive director.

The campaign launched in the spring, and Friday morning, McGill announced the news to staff. He said the team was elated. 

"They worked so hard, and they are just such a wonderful group of people that really support the mission and the vision that it just means we can do so much more," McGill said.

Each year, MCT casts some 65,000 children in 2,400 shows on tours and in Missoula, and it presents them to an audience of 750,000. The organization has an annual budget of some $5.5 million and a staff of 120, including many on tours for shows.

The campaign came about because MCT had reached a point where growth was no longer possible. Knowing the impact MCT has for children in its productions, Missoula businessman Craig Langel offered to donate $250,000 to the nonprofit – as long as it could raise the other $750,000.

"I realized that if MCT had $1 million, they would be able to retire their mortgage, which would free up about $15,000 a month for the organization," Langel said earlier.

Indeed, Langel was the inspiration for the campaign in many ways, McGill said. Now, he said, MCT will be able to do more work with the schools and launch other programs as well.

"We're getting more involved with other organizations that are trying to do more arts in the schools," he said.

The ambitious fundraising was a success because people believe in the work MCT does, McGill said.

"They believe that what we do is important, and it's important for children, and that our vision of being able to take the arts to places that don't necessarily get the arts (is important) ...

"I feel like there's no way of thanking people enough."

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Higher Education Reporter

Reporter for the Missoulian