EDITORIAL: A bold step in rebranding

The York Dispatch

Thumbs Up: To the former York Little Theatre for rebranding itself as The Belmont Theatre.

The “Little Theatre movement” in the U.S. started in larger cities just after the turn of the 20th century providing a means for small-scale experimental drama. So it was a natural move for the small theater to adopt the name when it opened in 1933.

Lyn Bergdoll, the theater's executive director, says the name change reflects the wider scope of the theater’s offerings. “Sometimes people think we only do children's shows," she said.

York Little Theatre changes name

The theater, built in the 1930s, used to house the Elmwood Movie Theatre and served as an outlet for Great Depression-era live entertainment seekers and performers. Last summer, it completed a major upgrade including new seating, carpeting, stage curtain and lobby furniture.

If you haven’t been to York Little — (whoops, it’s going take some time) — The Belmont Theatre recently, stop by and see how “little” it really isn’t.

The next show is "The King & I," opening Friday, June 17; it runs weekends through Sunday, June 26.

This will be changing soon as well. http://www.ylt.org/

Thumbs Up: To Jerri Zimmerman who tirelessly works to quell violence and poverty in York City.

The Olde Towne East resident recently held a late-night sit-in there as a show of neighborhood solidarity against crime. She said someone even fired a gun nearby to try to interrupt the event.

"They thought they could scare us, or something," she said. "It didn’t work."

In her 35 years of activism, Zimmerman, 76, led the movement to close nuisance bars, helped those in need obtain food and clothing, has been shot at over a dozen times and even had the police called on her — by drug dealers.

They’d taken issue with the fact that she chased them off by swinging an ax handle at them.

Sit-in planned for York City's west end

Her tenacity and drive is an asset York City is lucky to have and an example for everyone fighting the uphill battle to improve the quality of life in the city.

If you haven’t yet met Jerri, stop by the next sit-in at 9 p.m. Friday, June 24 at the corner of South West and West Princess streets. She could probably tell some great stories!

Thumbs Up: To Carol Reinhold and her family members who spent a recent weekend at the Donate Life Transplant Games of America in Cleveland and spread the word about the benefits of organ donation.

The games are an Olympic-styled event for people who got a second chance at life due to a transplanted organ. The Reinhold’s traveled with Team Philadelphia.

In supporting the games, Carol said she was celebrating the life of her son Keith, who died at age 39 in 2005 from a heart attack. She’s proud of the fact that his organ donations saved multiple lives in at least six states.

"It's comforting for us," Carol said. "We miss him very much, but it's inspiring to see those people living. It's amazing the people you meet through that."

York County families headed to Transplant Games of America

According to Donate Life America, another person is added to the nation's organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes. Eight thousand of these people die each year because the organs they need are not donated in time. The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years.

Kudos to those who are organs donors and to those who spread the word — organ donation is the kindest final gesture a person can make.

For more information go to https://www.donatelife.net/.