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Fort Wayne, IN 46818
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Press Release
March 24 2014
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030
Sweetwater Makes Donations to More than 350 Non-Profits in 2013
-- Donations Include New Six-Figure Gifts to Four Organizations --

Fort Wayne, IN, March 19, 2014 - In 2013, Chuck and Lisa Surack and Sweetwater Sound, Inc., donated more than $1.3 million to more than 350 recipients. In addition to donations in cash and in-kind to virtually every middle and high school music program in the region, to many dozens of social service agencies, and to cancer victims and fundraisers for accident victims, Sweetwater made four large new contributions and pledges to non-profit organizations, over and above major multi-year pledges made in the last two years.

Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack presented a check for $50,000 to help kick off the "Gold for the City Campaign" for Fort Wayne's Unity Performing Arts Foundation (UPAF). UPAF's Voices of Unity Choir plans to compete at the World Choir Games in Latvia, and to perform at Carnegie Hall this summer. UPAF exists to empower and develop young people in the areas of character, artistry, and leadership.

The Surack's and Sweetwater also pledged $150,000 to establish an endowment to support music programs for Easter Seals ARC. A portion of the funds will be used immediately to upgrade musical equipment used by 300 clients. Ongoing, the endowment will help to sustain 8 new programs with various music curriculums, lead by professional musicians, for people with disabilities.

A pledge of $250,000 was made for the renovation of the historic Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne's premier concert venue. The Vision for The Embassy campaign includes renovations to currently unused space to create a two-story ballroom and rooftop garden, a rehearsal studio, classrooms, an additional entrance, new dressing rooms, a new history center, and a renovated box office.

A pledge of $150,000 was made to Greater Fort Wayne Inc., the new organization created by uniting the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and the Allen County Economic Alliance. This new non-profit economic development organization will use Sweetwater's donation for marketing expenses to promote its new name and brand, for business expansion and retention efforts, and to advocate for good government and a business friendly environment.

Additional multi-year, six-figure pledge recipients include the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo for its new Australia Exhibit and to completely redesign and rebuild the zoo's entrance; to Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne for the creation of the city's first community box office, providing ticket sales services to dozens of arts organization; to Turnstone for the enhancement of its facilities, which are dedicated to providing sports programs and activities for the physically disabled, and to Arc/Easter Seals' Endowment Fund.

Other recipients of large annual gifts in 2013 included the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Foundation for Art and Music Education (FAME), Junior Achievement, the Three Rivers Festival (to sponsor fireworks, and participation of high school bands in the festival's parade), Turnstone, Unity Performing Arts Foundation (UPAF), Youth for Christ, and many others.

Chuck Surack remarked, "My wife Lisa and I are extremely grateful that we are in a position to give back to the community that has done so much for us and for the growth of Sweetwater over the past 35 years."
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