Randy Danielson, one of the co-chairs of The REES, has been recognized by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb for his work to bring the Plymouth movie theater back to life.
State Representative Jack Jordan (R-17th District) presented Danielson with a “Sagamore of the Wabash” award. The award, given by Holcomb, honors Hoosiers that have distinguished themselves “by his (her) humanity in living, his loyalty in friendship, his wisdom in council, and his inspiration in leadership.”
Danielson was honored as a Sagamore of The Wabash not only for his contributions to the renovation of The REES but because of his community involvement which has spanned nearly five decades. Many local families have been guided through the fog of funeral planning by Danielson and his staff. What many folks don’t know is that he has served on the boards of the Marshall County Economic Development Corporation, Marshall County United Way, Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, and as a Trustee of Ancilla College.
Additionally, he served on the Plymouth School Corporation L.E.A.D Program and twice served as Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus. The Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center has benefitted from his expertise while serving on its Development Committee and the hospital’s board of directors.
Danielson has co-chaired the restoration of Saint Michael’s Church, Mission 2000 – Saint Michael’s School Expansion, and their Playground Development Committee while serving on the Parish Finance Council. For 20 years he served on the Garden Court Board, five as the secretary/treasurer. He also served terms as the chair of the Marshall County Life Enrichment Center board.
As a funeral director, Randy was a district director of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association and was a member of the Indiana and National Funeral Directors Association.
The surprise honor was given during the Founders Day celebration held on Sunday, Oct. 1, which marked the first anniversary of The REES being open as a downtown entertainment venue. Danielson and Donna Pontius spearheaded the efforts to renovate the old theater, which had been closed in 2009. Danielson stated of the honor; “I am humbled by this honor which could only have been attained while living in a supportive and responsive community.”
The Wythougan Valley Preservation Council purchased the theater in December 2016 through a donation made possible by Randy and Eleanor Danielson. That same month, The Rees Theatre
Project was formed with Danielson and Pontius as the co-chairs.
Work began in 2017, relying on a combination of private donations, public grants, and countless volunteer manhours. After nearly five years and four construction phases, The REES, as it is now called because of its flexibility of use, officially opened on Oct. 1, 2022.
To commemorate its first year of operation, The REES held its second annual Celebration of the Arts street festival on Saturday, featuring the local band This Homemade Conspiracy. The evening was capped off by a sold-out concert by Passafire, featuring Plymouth natives Will and Nick Kubley. The Savannah, Ga., band made Plymouth a special stop as part of its national fall tour. The band was honored by Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter with a special proclamation for its ties to the community.
The REES has hosted over 150 public and private events over its first 365 days, including many that benefited other non-profit and artistic entities in the community.