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Summer 2003

Elite Helps to Save Orchestra • Development NewsHomes and Lots For Sale
Recipes and Home TipsEmployee Profile

Elite Helps to Save Orchestra From Bankruptcy
by Joe Pusateri

There is a difference in this newsletter. Instead of including a card to fill out and send in for a free dinner at Ferd Grisanti's, we have substituted a pledge card to help the Louisville Orchestra. It is my hope that many of you will find it in your hearts to help the Orchestra by making a donation.

As most of you probably know, I made a commitment to help the Louisville Orchestra. For those who are unaware of this, briefly here is what has transpired.

On June 5th, I gave a speech about leadership to the Bingham Fellows, who are a group of leadership Louisville graduates, working on a community project. On Friday, June 6th, I was leaving town to go to St. Louis for a family reunion. I had been following the plight of the Louisville Orchestra and they were spiraling towards bankruptcy and probable extinction.

The speech I had given the day before was haunting me. Did I really believe the principles of leadership I had talked about enough to put them in action? In the car on the way to St. Louis I suddenly felt "called" by God to call the Orchestra board and intervene. I got cold chills, for I got a glimpse of what the outcome would be, if I made the call. I made a couple of phone calls. Both the Musicians and the leadership of the Orchestra Board agreed that $930,000 was the amount separating the two sides. After 14 days, numerous meetings, dozens of phone calls and finally a 16-hour marathon mediation, an agreement was reached and the Orchestra survived. As part of the agreement, I agreed to raise and signed a pledge card for $465,000 over the next 2 years.

I asked the Home Builders Assoc. of Louisville to help me, which they agreed to do. They pledged $1.00 from every Homearama ticket from the next 2 years to the Louisville Orchestra. We have also organized a committee within the Home Builders Assoc. to solicit donations from members of our industry. To begin the fund-raising and as a sign of my personal commitment, Elite Homes agreed to contribute $100,000 and will cover any short fall if we are unable to raise the balance. After counting the Homearama proceeds, approximately $300,000 still remains to be raised. I am asking for help in raising this amount.

Our community has a long history of supporting its Arts community. In fact, brochures about the quality of life in Louisville, tout the strong Arts programs as a major reason to live and raise your family here. Of the Arts groups in Louisville, none touch more lives than the Louisville Orchestra. This 67 year-old organization plays over 125 times a year to over 220,000 of our citizens. Our Orchestras grade school programs are rated the best in the nation and received the prestigious Leonard Bernstein award for educational excellence in 2001.

To stand by and let the Louisville Orchestra go bankrupt would have been tragic. We are now the 16th largest city in the nation with a world famous Orchestra. We need your help to preserve it. I have always felt very strongly that each citizen should give something back to their community. It is our responsibility to leave it in better shape for our children and future generations. I have found that the more I give the more I receive in return. If everyone can do something, it would go a long way towards meeting this pledge. Thank you in advance for any help you can give. I am available if anyone would want to call and discuss any of this further.

"Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." 2 Corinthians 9:6-7