Thursday, November 1, 2007

Roy Burgess Plans Ahead for Barksdale's Future

Posted by Phil Whiteway

Congratulations and many thanks to Roy Burgess, former Barksdale Trustee, past Board President, and current poster boy for The Community Foundation. You may have seen Roy's beeming visage recently lighting up the pages of STYLE, the Free Press and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. His ad encourages giving to The Community Foundation. He also has a few great things to say about Barksdale Theatre.

The copy of the ad reads as follows:

"Why did I become a philanthropist?

'There are things I really want to help keep alive long after I'm gone--theater, great old Richmond neighborhoods, and my church.' -- Roy E. Burgess II

You make the difference.
We make it possible.

Roy Burgess has a vision of what he wants to happen. Fast forward to the future. Laughter fills the Barksdale Theatre. A tour guide shows off a beautifully revived old Richmond neighborhood to a busload of impressed visitors. On the Boulevard, the organist practices for the Sunday service at Boulevard United Methodist Church. Roy Burgess has established a legacy that will improve people's lives for generations in ways that reflect his personal passions. How did he do that? He found a partner called The Community Foundation and put a dream in forward motion. Could it be funded creatively through his estate, sharing proceeds also designated for his family? Yes. Could it be named after him? The Roy E. Burgess II Fund--done!

What things are special to you? What will you do to keep them alive?"

In addition to a great photo of Roy, the ad centers on a show shot from Into the Woods, featuring Hannah Zold and Rita Markova.

Roy has been a vital member of the Barksdale family for as long as I can remember. He acted (and sang) on the Tavern stage in the 1968 production of Oliver!, and in H.M.S. Pinafore in 1981. Whether performing on stage, governing in the Board room, or cheering in the audience (he hasn't missed a Barksdale production in decades!), Roy has come to understand that Barksdale depends on his participation and support for its very survival. So he has been a generous annual contributor year after year, and, about two years ago, he became the first supporter to let us know that he had included Barksdale in his will.

Now he's also designated Barksdale as an annual recipient of funding of the Roy E. Burgess II Fund that will be administered by The Community Foundation in perpetuity.

We can't thank Roy enough for acting on his commitment to Barksdale Theatre. For generations to come, it will be Roy's thoughtful planning that will keep Barksdale growing and going strong.

A big part of my job is working with supporters on their planned giving. If you'd like to support Barksdale today or in the future, please give me a call and I'll be happy to meet with you.

--Phil Whiteway


Anonymous said...

Roy B has been such a great supporter of Richmond theatre and Barksdale in particular...our community is lucky to have him. Congratulations Barksdale!

Jacquie O. said...

How wonderful! Barksdale is truly blessed to have someone like Roy on their side. I don’t know if Roy will remember this, but when I was first hired by Pete and Muriel as Barksdale’s box office manager in 1992. Roy came to see me that first week. He sat me down and started telling me all these wonderful stories about the Barksdale history and why Barksdale was a family. He made me excited to be a part of the team. There was a great deal of change over the course of the next 4 years (including the move to Willow Lawn). Roy was always around to lend support to our very small staff (I think there was only 4 of us at the time.) His heart is huge, and I for one was grateful for all the support during those years.

mmmhawke said...

Barksdale in indeed lucky to have Roy as a supporter for many years, and now for it's future as well. I first met Roy in 1968 when we were in Camelot at The Virginia Museum Theatre. I left Richmond for many years, but when I was considering moving back, Roy helped me connect with people here. When I started performing again a few years back, Roy was supportive in every endeavor I undertook. He has always been encouraging of me as he is of the entire Richmond theatre scene. When the Richmond Times Dispatch had it's forum on the state of the arts, no one spoke more eloquently than Roy. He actively supports his neighborhood, and he has always been a real cheerleader for the City of Richmond and it's theatre scene. God bless him!

Anonymous said...

Another huge contribution that Roy makes to quality theatre in Richmond is his email tip line. After a wonderful show opens somewhere, Roy is the first to send out an email to his long list of friends saying what he loved about the show. My first exposure to Barksdale Theatre was when I went to see a show based on Roy's enthusiastic recommendation. Now I'm in my third year as a subscriber. I haven't contributed yet, but I guess it's time for me to start following his example in that regard as well.

Anonymous said...

Roy Burgess has a beautiful singing voice. Any chance we can convince him to warble once again on a Barksdale stage?