The same year as the Theatre opened,1989, a small group of islanders (Ruth Fleming, Dodie Gann, Kit Moorhouse, Shirley Nielsen, Joan Roberts, Lynne Rogers, Catherine Skinner and Jane Stoddard) decided to form a support group for the new performing arts center. They realized that over time, the Theatre would need funds to upgrade its physical facility, its décor and many of its technical components. That small group became what is now CATS (Community Arts Theatre Society).
In 1991, when Lynne Rogers was the CATS President, there were 22 paid-up members and the group’s by-laws were developed by Kit Moorhouse and her committee. A selection follows:
Article II: Purpose
The purposes of CATS are charitable.
A. To help raise funds in support of of the San Juan Community Theater and Arts Center’s special needs, with regard to specific equipment, landscaping, capital improvements, and special programs.
B. To develop an outreach program of cultural enrichment to benefit the youth of our community.
C. To assist the Theatre Board in planning occasional receptions at appropriate events that take place at the Theatre.
Article V: Auxiliaries
The youth auxiliary operating under the auspices of CATS should be known as Kitty Cats. The purpose of this organization is to enrich and educate the youth of our community in the Theatre Arts through workshops, activities and performances.
Four major fundraisers were held that year. A Bake and Plant Sale netted $2,197.11 and participation at the Pig War BBQ earned $15,131.54. CATS manned a concession trailer at the Port Lot during the San Juan Island Dixieland Jazz Festival. They sold Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sandwiches, and netted $1,198.29. The Festival of Trees, chaired by Ruth Fleming and Catherine Skinner, brought in $5,036.97 for a total of $23,563.91. The 1991 Festival’s program included a performance by the Island Singers and set a new high for San Juan Island! All wreath and tree entries for the auction were delightful expressions of creative hearts without commercialism. The food was fantastic!