The Wally Russell Foundation announced that Sonny Sonnenfeld has made a donation to the Foundation at the Gold Circle level. The nonprofit organization 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. The award for this year’s honoree, Richard Belliveau, will be presented at ETS-LDI2005 in Orlando, FL.

Sonny Sonnenfeld, a six-decade veteran of the lighting industry, currently works for Strand Lighting as a commercial consultant and New York representative, serving the consultant, Broadway, and dealer community. Sonnenfeld has a long history with Strand; his career started at Century Lighting (now Strand) in 1945, where he became New York sales manager. In 1961, he co-founded Lighting & Electronics, rejoining what had then become Strand Century between 1975-85. In the intervening years, he’s also been a sales representative for Colortran, Wybron, and ETC. He has been an active member of USITT since its inception as well as the IES. Sonnenfeld also founded the Broadway Lighting Master Classes professional training program in 1993.

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 computer controlled lightboard; 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, Larry Kellermann, Philip O’Donnell, Richard Pilbrow, Brian Russell, Glen Russell, Robert Schiller, 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 Foundation
2615 South Santa Fe Avenue
Los Angeles, Ca. 90058