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Chris Miller, left, makes a donation to the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center, represented by Bob Plymale, on behalf of Dutch Miller Auto Group.

HUNTINGTON — The Dutch Miller Auto Group has donated $15,000 to the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center to assist with its current renovation projects, according to West Virginia state Sen. Bob Plymale, who serves as theater co-president.

A “Sorry, Not Sorry” comedy show featuring Chris Miller, of Dutch Miller Auto Group, and Wes Thompson that had been scheduled for April 2020 had to be cancelled for health and safety concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Chris and Wes were donating their personal time and finances for this fundraiser, which we hope to reschedule when we return to more normal times,” said Terry Deppner Hardin, who serves as director of development for the Keith Albee.

Miller, who made the donation in lieu of the event, “has a true donor’s heart,” Deppner Hardin said, and initially did not want recognition or publicity for the donation, but reconsidered at the thought it would help raise additional funds for the Keith Albee.

“This type of philanthropy helps to create a thriving and vibrant community for all of us,” Plymale said.

The Keith Albee Performing Arts Center is an organization that normally receives the majority of its budget from donor contributions and gross receipts from activities related to its functions, according to a news release from theater officials.

Members of the board said it did not go into the current pandemic with extensive reserves and now struggles with the economic hardships resulting from no events or ticket sales. The Keith-Albee, an economic driver for downtown Huntington, must rely on the community it serves to keep the center viable and in safe operating condition.

“The Keith Albee serves as a community center, and it needs all the help that it can get, no matter how large or small,” Deppner Hardin said. “Small donations add up. It is not the size of the donation that matters; what matters is the outcome that the giving produces. Regardless of the amount someone is able to contribute, the heart of the donor is what counts.”

Plymale and theater Co-President David Tyson said a capital campaign for infrastructure improvements is expected to begin soon after reports and estimates are received for needed maintenance and repairs.

To donate, go to http://www.keithalbee.com/.

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