WETA (Channel 26) raised $390,420 to help rebuild Wolf Trap's Filene Center during a three-hour telethon Wednesday night.
The PBS station received 3,095 individual pledges totalling $167,000. The rest of the money came from a corporate matching fund, with donations from Beneficial Management, Chevron, Giant Food, Peoples Drug Stores, the Jane E. Marilley Foundation and anonymous national donors.
"From our point of view it was terribly successful," WETA president Ward Chamberlin said yesterday. "At the start of the evening we weren't sure how it would go. We've never done this before . . . My prediction was $250,000. I'm just delighted we did $390,000."
WJLA (Channel 7) picked up the last hour of the benefit, which included clips from past performances at Wolf Trap, appearances by local media celebrities as well as Tony Randall and Helen O'Connell, and taped statements from performing artists such as Itzhak Perlman and Elizabeth Taylor. Roger Mudd was among the volunteers who answered phones.
Wolf Trap so far has raised over $943,000 to reconstruct the Filene Center, which was destroyed by fire April 4. It will cost an estimated $20 million to rebuild, half of which the federal government will give Wolf Trap. The other half will be a loan.
WETA presently has no plans for another Wolf Trap telethon. "We're going back to raising money for ourselves," said Chamberlin.