Local School Founded By Man Who Voiced Disney Character May Close
A Hudson Valley school started by a man who voiced an iconic Disney character is in danger of closing and needs your help.
Samuel E. Wright of Orange County passed away in May following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Wright was an actor best known for voicing Sebastian in Disney's classic The Little Mermaid. He also voiced Sebastian in The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning
In 1988, the two-time Tony nominee moved to the Hudson Valley and noticed a lack of arts in the area. He wanted to make sure all kids had access to the craft he loved so much so with the help of his wife and children's high school music teacher he opened up a performing arts school.
The Hudson Valley Conservatory has been opened for over 25 years offering young children music, drama and dance classes as well as performances for the community at their 170-seat black box theater.
But now the school is in danger of closing and needs help to stay open.
"Even when the world was shutting down around them, the owners and staff knew that the show must go on, Dee Kelly, Wright's daughter and teacher at the school, writes in a GoFundMe to keep the school open. "So, on it went, but with a massive loss in revenue and the inability to maintain a building that no longer suits them."
The fundraiser hopes to raise $250,000 to pay outstanding debt, move into a new building and continue to offer classes to all children in the Hudson Valley no matter their background or financial situation.
"Sam always made the children of his community a priority. The school has never turned a child away for lack of funds. Even during very difficult treatments, Sam continued to travel to nearby schools to visit the kids and bring them joy. Nothing made him happier than seeing children laugh and smile," Kelly writes.
All funds collected will be given directly to the owners of the conservatory to pay outstanding debts and invoices that are unpaid due to reduced income during Covid; general costs to keep the business running; securing a new space for the school and theater and making the necessary renovations; supplementing fees for scholarship students, Kelly adds.
As of this writing, nearly $30,000 has been raised. CLICK HERE to donate.