Annual Appeal for Donations

News: Annual Appeal for Donations

December 2019


I am writing to tell you my experiences with one of the most exciting and significant programs of ATOS and to ask you to provide financial assistance to ensure this program continues and grows.

When I was 14 years old, I spotted an ad in The Theatre Organ Journal for the ATOS Summer Youth Adventure and attended my first of 9 years of this exciting program. My first surprise was learning that I was not the only young person with a growing interest in the fabulous theatre pipe organ.

I am one of 198 young people who have attended these special training sessions since the program began with its first session in Chicago in 2007. Among our alumni are Nathan Avakian, Donnie Rankin, Brett Miller, Justin LaVoie, Andrew Van Varick and Dan Umholtz, who is now on the Wanamaker roster. Other SYA graduates are now in college music programs, performing occasionally as time permits away from their studies. Attending SYA sessions was a primary influence on me and my ultimate decision to enroll in the music program at University of Oklahoma, where I recently graduated with plans to continue studies toward a master’s degree.

What happens at these gatherings? For the dozen or so students attending each year, there are jam sessions, instructions on the mechanics of the theatre organ and individual instruction. We benefit from the camaraderie, not only with other young people who share an interest in theatre organ, but in getting to know and building relationships with the professionals who serve as teachers. I found this experience so rewarding that I attended another 8 times. SYA is an ideal conduit to get young people better acquainted with the organ, to hone skills even beyond mechanics and to make personal connections and friends for life.

One of the challenges ATOS faces as it moves forward with this program is the increasing cost each year. We rarely have access to free venues and must pay for the use of space and organs, thus escalating the overall cost of running the program. To date, more than $340,000 has been invested in SYA, and 76% of that cost has been provided by private donations from our ATOS family. And that is how you can help.

A gift from you will help support the efforts of ATOS to bring fresh new talent into our circle. A contribution of any size is welcome. Your gift, along with those of others will help to ensure that the Summer Youth Adventure not only continues but grows and expands, training talented young people for the next generation of theatre organists.

You can help ensure that our beloved theatre organs are playing 30 years from now, 50 years from now, by supporting the next generation of artists through this program. You can make a gift online through our website (donate) or by sending a check using the enclosed card and envelope.

Thank you! Let’s all make sure the tibias continue to make music!

Luke Stasiunas
Youth Representative, ATOS Board of Directors
B.M., University of Oklahoma, Class of 2019

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The American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS) operates over a dozen program efforts in support of our primary interest, the theatre pipe organ. ATOS is an IRS approved 501c3 charity. These programs span the scope of the instrument from presentation, instrument preservation and restoration, training for performance maintenance, documentation and an archive to retain the legacy of the instrument for the future. These efforts are supported by the organizations membership dues and a generous set of donors.

Giving can be in the form of restricted (targeted to a specific program activity) or unrestricted (allocated by the ATOS Board as part of the annual budget planning process). ATOS conducts an Annual Fundraising Campaign in the fall of each year when a direct appeal is made, however, gifts and bequests are always a welcome addition to support our efforts.

In addition to the gifting of money, since ATOS is an IRS approved charity, gifts or bequests may also be in the form of savings whether cash or other investments holdings or beneficiary status.

Our members have been very generous in the past, and we hope you can be generous again. For example:

  • $500 can bring a young person to the Summer Youth Adventure
  • That level can also help with the costs of the young artists competition at the convention
  • Those $100 donations can help pay for private lessons, or assist with the Technical Experience
  • And for those who listen, Theatre Organ Radio needs support to keep it providing your favorite music every day, all day.

All those $5, $10 and $20 donations can add up, and collectively do so much good. We know that there are those of you who can provide direction-changing gifts to ATOS that can guarantee the future of the theatre organ. For those that are able, please consider including us in your estate planning documents.

Thanks so much for your donation, and choosing to help make a difference.

ATOS is an IRS recognized non-profit organization. Your donation may have tax benefits. Please consult your financial advisor.
The website and our Journal will keep you updated on all ATOS news. You'll receive an acknowledgement of your donation by mail from Membership Secretary Donna Parker. You should also receive a receipt for your payment at the email address you used during payment.

We appreciate your membership and your support of ATOS.

Donation Card for Mailing a Donation

Mail your check to:

Donna Parker, ATOS Membership Secretary
P.O. Box 6491
Aloha, Oregon 97007-0491
(503) 372-6987
email: d.parker [at]