Wantage woman wins Centenary Stage fundraiser

| 17 Feb 2014 | 02:10

Wantage resident Donna Mappa was in high school when her gym teacher found the money to take the class to see the Joffrey Ballet each year.

Mappa credits the trip with instilling a love for the performing arts as an early age.

In July, Mappa bought a raffle ticket in the Centenary Stage Company's fall fundraising effort and in December, she got a phone call saying she had won the 2013 raffle, a total of $3,150 as her part of the winnings.

"I can't even tell you how thrilled I was because I never win anything," Mappa said.

The day she received the call, she brought her neighbor's two children to a Centenary performance of "A Christmas Carol."

"Donna is the perfect person to win this raffle," CSC General Manager Catherine Rust said. "I'm so excited that it was a person who has that passion for the arts, not only for herself, but the passion to introduce live performance to children."

Mappa said she thought the performing arts should just be a part of every child's education.

"I don't think enough importance is placed on the arts and culture," Mappa said. "Every child should be exposed to all facets of the arts; I'm a firm believer in that. They cut back so much all they are left with is reading, writing and arithmetic. But [the arts] fill up those spaces in a child's soul, which are left empty for whatever possible reason, instead of them going and looking for those things which may not be so good for them."

When asked what she would do with the winnings, Mappa said it would come in very handy this spring when tax time hits, and she might be able to fix her car. Or maybe she would be able to visit her son in Colorado, whom she hasn't seen for two years.

The 50/50 fall raffle was led by Centenary Stage Company board member Joanne Riley, raising more than $3,000 for the arts education programs of the professional theatre in residence in Hackettstown on the Centenary College campus. Mappa works in Hackettstown for local surgeon, Dr. Nazen Itani.

For more information about the Centenary Stage Company, log onto www.centenarystageco.org.