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Efforts to save Passion Play successful

January 02, 2013|Lauren Pozen, KSPR News | lpozen@kspr.com

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark.-- Representatives with the Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, Arkansas say enough funds were raised to prevent the play from shutting down.

The play's owners teamed up with the Gospel Station Radio Network in Oklahoma to come up with the $75,000 it owes the bank. We told you about this on Christmas Day.

Gospel Station President, Randall Christy says there were more than enough pledges to prevent foreclosure on the play's property. Because of the New Year's holiday, the station had an extra day to raise funds.

The economy and what Christy calls an unusual set of circumstances caused the massive debt, but he refused to say anything more.

The play is important to the town and means a great deal to the community. Last week, business owners of Eureka Springs and residents met to figure out a way to save it. One motel owner told us 20 percent of her business comes from tourism the passion play brings. But, that's not what inspired her to donate a thousand dollars.

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"In tough times also, I wanted to donate because I don't want the play stopped. Whether it's going to help me for my business or not, " says Ruby Walia, owner of Motel 62.

The debt is wiped clean, but money woes continue. Christy says there will be another fundraising effort, along with a new marketing campaign to put Passion Play back in action.

We will find out more on Thursday about the future of the Great Passion Play at a news conference. The play is set to open for the first time since November this spring.


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