The present may not have come gift-wrapped with "Merry Christmas" on the label, but the SCERA organization welcomed it all the same.

The George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles foundation has given the nonprofit organization $25,000 to support its building efforts for a new arts center that will more than double the existing space at the SCERA Showhouse."Obviously we are thrilled with the generosity of the Eccles Foundation," said Norm Nielsen, SCERA president. "The Eccles are known for their support of the arts, and they realize that benefiting the arts in Utah County helps the arts in the entire state. We cannot be more grateful and only hope other groups and individuals will follow their example."

The Eccles foundation serves the Intermountain West with a particular focus on the state of Utah and programs to improve the quality of life and learning..

SCERA, which has served as a center for arts and entertainment in Utah since the 1930s, broke ground this fall for an arts center that will add another theater, art galleries, rehearsal and meeting space, and classrooms. Nearly $500,000 is still needed to finance the construction.

Nielsen said, "The building is moving along on schedule and we expect it to be finished by next fall. We invite people to come by and take a look at the progress - shortly you'll be able to see the walls coming up. We hope people will want to be involved and join our many contributors."

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Those interested in helping SCERA on any level are encouraged to call April Wetzel at 225-2569.

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