Personal Giving Stories

Performing Arts Patron Gives Despite Pandemic

Marc and Sherri Schnetz
Marc and Sherri Schnetz

Marc and Sherri Schnetz, of Springfield, Illinois, loved to take in a good show.

Sherri favored Toby Keith, while Marc enjoyed Martina McBride. The couple often attended performances at the Performing Arts Center at the University of Illinois Springfield as well as other venues.

“We would make a weekend out of it,” says Marc, who is 62 and retired. “We really did enjoy our time together on those little journeys.”

Their love of performance inspired Marc to make a bequest through his estate to the University of Illinois Foundation for the benefit of FRIENDS of the Performing Arts Center at UIS. “I just felt like it’s the right thing to do,” he says. Sherri died in 2015, but Mark’s gift is a way of celebrating what they enjoyed together while making a difference for the arts.

Marc says he would love to have a Springfield venue comparable to places like The Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis or the Rosemont Theatre in suburban Chicago. After learning how his support makes such a difference to the Center, he now intends to make more gifts to benefit the performing arts. According to Bryan Rives, director of the Performing Arts Services and UIS Performing Arts Center, “bequests can help a major need go from a wish to a reality.”

Rives says the main needs of the PAC tend to be either facilities or program related for things like repairs, maintenance, and lighting and sound upgrades. Gifts are critical to help support the cost of bringing shows to Central Illinois when ticket sales don’t cover expenses.

With the COVID-19 pandemic looming, Marc realizes shows will not return soon. “It gives us this opportunity during the downtime to get it ready and prepared for when things do fully open. We can take advantage of that; turn a bad thing into a good thing,” he says.

Marc’s estate commitment will provide future support and keep his and Sherri’s love for the performing arts alive in perpetuity at UIS.


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