Theater Launches Raise the Roof Campaign

Stephanie Holman, president of the Oconto Falls Lioness Lions Club, presents a ceremonial check to Bill Koehne, president of Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. The club contributed $1,000 to the community theater’s Raise the Roof fund and $250 for a new toilet.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. launched its Raise the Roof campaign with a $1,000 donation from the Oconto Falls Lioness Lions Club. Stephanie Holman, president of the club, presented a $1,250 check to Bill Koehne, president of ASPI, with $1,000 earmarked for a new roof and $250 for a new toilet. Holman said the donation to ASPI fits well with the Lion Lioness Club’s mission to serve the community.

“The theater gives unique life experiences to a diverse group of people in our community, whether they are attending the live performances, the actors, or working behind the scenes. We feel it enriches our community, especially with the youth and the veterans,” she said.

“It’s exciting to have a local organization like the Lioness become our initial donor in kicking off the Raise the Roof campaign,” Koehne said. “Within the first couple of weeks, other donors stepped up to contribute an additional $2,500, but we’re still a long way from achieving our goal.”

The theater hopes to raise over $30,000 for a new roof. Koehne encouraged people to become Spotlight Sponsors, either Silver ($100), Gold ($250) or Platinum ($500). All sponsors receive early access to tickets and recognition in show programs. Gold and Platinum sponsors receive two or four tickets, respectively, to each show.

Approaching its 20th season, ASPI performs three or four shows every year at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, formerly St. Louis Catholic Church in Abrams. The facility, built in 1927 and home to ASPI since 2007, has undergone a series of transformations. These include the construction of a stage with modular set booms, backstage dressing rooms, a concession stand, a light, sound, and projections booth, and restoration of the original hardwood floor. ASPI built an outdoor patio and replaced the old church pews with more comfortable, padded chairs. The roof is the next project on the list.

The latest ASPI show, “White Christmas,” will be presented in eight performances, Dec. 1-4 and 8-11. An anonymous donor provided 50 free tickets to veterans, and the eight shows sold out by mid-November. So, a ninth, Raise the Roof show was added on Dec. 6.

“All but seven seats sold out within the first 72 hours,” Koehne said, referring to the Raise the Roof show. “What a tremendous show of community spirit and support of community theater.”

Only single seats are available for “White Christmas,” and the box office has a waitlist in the event of cancellations.

Over the past 20 years, ASPI has presented many amazing shows for the community to enjoy. None of these performances would be possible without the theater’s volunteers and sponsors. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit and click “Support.”

Support the Arts: Theater Auction is Dec. 8-11

Brigette Finger, a volunteer with Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc., shows prize baskets included in the ASPI Spotlight Auction on Dec. 8-11. To bid on prizes, visit

Support the arts by participating in the online auction benefitting Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc., an Oconto County community theater organization. More than 60 items are up for grabs, including sailing cruises, golf packages, hotel stays, and homemade candy, cookies, and dinners. The auction also features theater-related prizes like season tickets, a cameo appearance in an ASPI musical, and in-person performances by characters from “Beauty and the Beast” and “White Christmas.”

The ASPI Spotlight Auction opens at 12 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, and ends at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Prize pick-up is scheduled from 12-6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, at the theater, 5852 Maple St. Abrams. Merchandise is sorted by category for easy viewing and bidding online. To view prizes and place a bid, visit

ASPI is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that presents musicals, comedies, and dramas at the Nancy Byng Community Theater. The theater is operated solely by volunteers, and proceeds from the auction help bring high-energy, live entertainment to the community. ASPI currently is running two capital campaigns to raise funds for a new sound system and roof.

ASPI thanks all of its supporters, especially the local businesses and individuals who donated to the auction. To learn more about ASPI, visit

Iverson Named Exemplary Employer

Bryce Iverson, owner of Iverson’s Piggly Wiggly of Oconto Falls, was awarded the Exemplary Employer Award from the State of Wisconsin – Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). Each October, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Wisconsin Workforce Development Area (WDA) 5 chooses one award winner from Brown, Door, Florence, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Shawano, and Sheboygan counties. An award presentation was held on Thursday, October 27, 2022, with Meredith Dressel, Deputy Administrator of DVR; Jennifer Bscherer, Director of WDA 5; Whitney Hostettler, Supervisor of WDA5; and Lynn Hardginski, Business Services Consultant. Iverson was surrounded by staff from the location, including Mr. Pig, and board members from the Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Danielle Kline, Employment and Training Specialist with New View Industries, nominated Iverson for the award, “because he (Iverson) sees a person’s abilities, not their disabilities.” She continued, “Bryce has created a culture of natural supports within the store to help support people with disabilities. Bryce and his employees deserve to be recognized for their outstanding partnership and support for the community.” 

DVR provides services such as career and guidance counseling, job search and placement, transition to work services for students with disabilities in high school, vocation and other training, job shadows, and more. 

Congratulations to everyone at Iverson’s Piggly Wiggly!