The Wally Russell Fund announced today the end of its 2006 fundraising campaign.

Speaking for the Board of Directors, Tom Folsom said, “We are all truly gratified by the industry response to the Wally Fund. We are in the process of expanding our Board of Directors and increasing our activities and contributions to the Industry. This is the second year in a row that we have exceeded our planned fund-raising amount, and gives the Board the confidence to continue our contributions to the industry and continue our expanded activities”.

The Wally Fund relies on donations by industry companies and individuals to move it forward as it supports the LA Opera internship program, Broadway Master Classes, and the Safety Certification Program. It also sponsors the Wally Russell Award, which honors outstanding lifetime achievement in entertainment technology, and a Newcomer Award for an innovative person in the industry. A list of winners can be found online in the Awards section of the Foundation's website. The non-profit organization is in the process of creating a similar intern program in cooperation with the Canadian Opera Company.

Wally Russell’s friends and business associates created the Wally Russell Foundation in 1992 to honor the memory of Russell—a visionary in lighting design, product innovation, theatre design, technical direction, and general management—whose frequently unrecognized impact on the profession was profound. Russell helped bring about the first commercially successful mini-computer based lighting system; brought automated lighting to the LA Opera as their technical director; and designed many theatres, including the modernizing of Buenos Aries’ Teatro Colon.

The Wally Russell Foundation Board of Directors are Donna Appleton, Phil Bernard, Rusty Brustche, David Cunningham, Tom Folsom, John Howe, Pat MacKay, Philip O’Donnell, Richard Pilbrow, Brian Russell, Glen Russell, Robert Schiller, Anne Valentino, Jennifer White, John Wiseman.

Donations can be made to the Foundation in the following levels:
Wally Patron: $2,500 and above
Platinum Circle: $1,000 to $2,499
Gold Circle: $100 to $999

Donations can be sent to:
The Wally Russell Fund
2061 Hoefner Ave.
Commerce, CA 90040

“We will begin our 2007 campaign after the first of the year” continued Folsom. “For those that have contributed in the past, we hope you will continue your contribution, for those that have not given in the past, we hope you will give us the opportunity to continue to help create opportunities for new and deserving professionals within this modern entertainment industry that Wally help to create”, concluded Folsom.