HSO receives donation from W.Va. mainstay

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, July 6, 2011

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — With it’s 2011 season on shaky ground, one landmark business has made sure the Huntington Symphony Orchestra will be able to celebrate another milestone.

Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House, of Huntington, donated $10,000 to the orchestra Tuesday to ensure its 25th season of Picnic with the Pops.

“Jim’s has always been a big supporter of us,” said Hogan Haas, executive director for the HSO. “It’s nice to know we have one of the main institutions of Huntington coming out to support us.”

Email newsletter signup

Sally and the late Jim Tweel have always been supporters of the arts in the Tri-State, Larry Tweel said of his parents, who opened Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House in 1938. Sally served on the HSO board for many years as well.

“We were in contact with the board and Hogan Haas and trying to find out what we could do to make sure the Huntington Symphony Orchestra continued to provide quality music to the Tri-State,” Larry said. “This is one of the things the Huntington Symphony Orchestra and Jim’s came up with as a way we could contribute to the continued existence of the (orchestra) and we certainly hope it will continue for years.”

Sally, Larry and his sister, Jimmie Carder, also general manager of Jim’s, presented the check Tuesday in front of the restaurant located on Fifth Avenue in Huntington.

The donation is one that Haas hopes will encourage others to continue to donate. Since the HSO initiated its Save the Music campaign in March, now called Turn Up the Music, the orchestra has seen an increase in new contributors, but Haas said donations have almost completely dropped off since May, when the HSO announced it has received an anonymous, one-time donation of $50,000.

“When people found out we got a mysterious $50,000, which we haven’t received yet, it’s not supposed to be in until September, people just stopped giving,” Haas said. “And that’s one thing Jim’s is going to come out and challenge other businesses to do the same as they have.”

“We would always encourage other businesses and individuals to support the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, each to what they can afford,” Larry said.”

The HSO’s Pops performances will be July 23 and Aug. 20 at the Harris Riverfront Park Amphitheater.

“Since this is the 25th year of Picnic with the Pops, we’re hoping it’s a record crowd,” Haas said.

The July 23 concert, called Riverfest, will feature performances by Jazzou Jones and Bob Schad. Some of the selections include, “76 Trombones,” “Satchmo!: A Tribute to Louis Armstrong,” “The Great Steamboat Race” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The Aug. 20 performance, called A Tribute to American Heroes, will feature performances by Marina Jurica and Ryan Hardiman. Some of the selections include “God Bless America,” “Hoe-Down from Rodeo” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Tickets are on sale now on the HSO website, www.huntingtonsymphonyorchestra.org.

“There is not a better evening in the summer than being at the riverfront listening to good music and watching the sunset,” Larry said. “We just think it’s a jewel of what the city and the Tri-State offers to the community and we just want to be a part of it.”