Wolf Trap netted $85,972 from sales of 5,376 tickets to a gala fund-raiser in February to rebuild the burned Filene Center, founder Catherine Filene Shouse said yesterday. About 7,132 tickets were given away to hospitals, senior citizens, handicapped persons and others to help fill the Capital Centre, where the event was held.
"People had a very good evening," Shouse said. "We gave a lot of people a lot of fun."
Shouse said an additional $32,600 in contributions was received after the gala--apparently triggered by it--from performers and members of the audience, including a "very generous" $20,000 gift from Bob Hope and Elizabeth Taylor, the lead attractions who also donated their services.
However, several performers, while donating their time, billed Wolf Trap for expenses. Sammy Davis Jr. put in for $13,000 in travel and salaries "at scale" for his band, Shouse said. "Sammy Davis had 19 people with him--his own orchestra--because he just didn't want to work with a new group," she said. She added that Davis "threw in his own expenses for free."
The singer Meat Loaf charged $2,000 in expenses, dancer Donna Wood $260 and even Hope submitted a bill for $585, Shouse said. In all, expenses for the artists and their staffs came to $41,000.
While Shouse's original goal, announced last December, was to earn $400,000 from the Feb. 7 event, Wolf Trap officials said they were happy with the results at a time when arts organizations are competing with one another for scarce private and public funding.
"Everybody's happy with what we did earn because of the pluses as a result," Shouse said. ". . . We can't even measure the public relations value of the gala . . . not only on TV but in the press . . . We feel that all the effort we put into it was worthwhile."
Asked if she would throw another gala for the $18 million construction project under way in rural Vienna with a $9 million federal grant and what has amounted so far to $3.5 million in private contributions, Shouse said she "would do it again if I had the assurance of a very, very well-known pop artist" to serve as a big drawing card.
Wolf Trap public affairs director Jeane Young said the event was held in the 18,000-seat Capital Centre rather than a smaller auditorium because its owner, Abe Pollin, offered to donate its use after the Filene Center, a wooden indoor-outdoor theater, burned April 4, 1982.
Young said the free use of the Capital Centre was worth $50,000, and that an additional and equal amount in other "in-kind" donations, such as advertising and hotel rooms and limousines for the performers, helped in producing the event.
"We had hoped for more in actual dollars, but the kind of attendance that we had, the spirit that it generated . . . made it a real success," Young said. "You can't measure these things in dollars alone."
Tickets were sold for $10, $25, $200 and $1,000. The total ticket take of $274,585 was reduced by $188,613 in expenses that Wolf Trap had to pay, Shouse said. She said major expenses, besides those for artists, included $7,650 for sound and lights, $5,832 for an orchestra, $15,110 for stagehands and $1,200 for insurance.
Smaller expenses--for things like advertising, stage props, parking and postage--Young said, added up to about $117,000 of the total expense figure.
Shouse said the gala generated additional income of $3,348 from the sale of programs and $149 from the sale of Wolf Trap T-shirts and buttons.
Last week, Wolf Trap announced it has received a $200,000 pledge from the Mobil Oil Corp. toward rebuilding the Filene Center.